Noticing nature this spring

A curlew, which are found on Marsden Moor, West Yorkshire

Whilst enjoying the welcome sights and sounds of spring, take a moment to discover the different pockets of nature across the High Peak and the simple and easy ways you can help to protect it.

Spring savvy

Whether you're exploring wildflower meadows, listening to birdsong in tranquil woods or pottering in your garden, spending time in nature can give you a sense of peace and a breather from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Take the time to stop and appreciate all the joys and that sense of wellbeing that nature provides - the sight of new animals, the smells of wildflowers and the sound of birdsong. We all need nature but at the same time, nature needs all of us to care for it and protect it. There are plenty of simple and easy ways you can help to look after the places you love this spring…

Golden plovers nest on the moorland in summer
Golden plover sat in heather
Golden plovers nest on the moorland in summer

Signs of new life

Take a moment to stop and notice the smaller details of spring, many that are often invisible to the naked eye and when speeding by at pace – tiny green shoots pushing up through the soil, our special birds like the curlew and the golden plover that nest on the ground and tree buds revealing their hues of greens. In early springtime look out for anenome and then swathes of bluebells begin to flourish from mid-April. You may also spot all the new native saplings that our teams of rangers and volunteers have planted in order to diversify our woodlands, allowing them to provide richer habitats for wildlife and to better equip these areas to face the challenges of climate change. You can help the countryside spring into life by taking all your litter home and leaving the landscapes that you love free from pollution and damage caused by litter left behind.

Carpet of bluebells in Backside Wood, Edale Valley
Carpet of bluebells in Backside Wood, Edale Valley
Carpet of bluebells in Backside Wood, Edale Valley

Take the lead

Across the countryside, lambs and calves are being born so please take extra care whilst out walking, ensuring you close gates behind you to keep young animals safe and keep dogs on leads to ensure they are not suddenly disturbed or frightened. You can also help birds that nest on the ground, like the curlew, by keeping dogs on a short 2m lead to minimise any nest disturbance at this fragile time and to ensure that everyone enjoys their precious time in the outdoors.

Take the time to appreciate the sights, sounds and smells that bring us so much joy during spring
Take the time to appreciate the sights, sounds and smells that bring us so much joy during spring
Take the time to appreciate the sights, sounds and smells that bring us so much joy during spring

Call of the curlew

With its distinctive and somewhat eerie ‘’cur-lee’ call, it announces its presence and cheers even the wettest spring day. Returning from the coast where food is plentiful throughout the winter months, the curlew returns during the spring to make its nest and raise its young chicks amongst our rugged moorland and surrounding farmland.

Fires caused by BBQs, campfires and discarded cigarette ends have devastating effects on moorlands where curlews make their nests and for this and many other reasons, are not permitted across the Peak District National Park. It is therefore vital to the welfare and safety of the wildlife and our precious countryside that BBQs, campfires and smoking on or near moorlands are avoided at all costs. Staff are patrolling regularly and will extinguish any lit BBQs or campfires immediately. Always call 999 in an emergency.

Helicopter dropping water on a Peak District fire
Helicopter dropping water on a Peak District fire
Helicopter dropping water on a Peak District fire

Be a guardian of the landscapes that you love and look after the paths, woodlands, wondrous wildlife, rolling hills and vast open spaces that have provided a welcome escape during these difficult times.