Best places to spot signs of spring

It’s hard to beat that spring feeling – the one when you can finally leave the house without a thick coat, and feel the sun’s warmth on your skin. With our handy guide you can go in search of the top signs of spring: from early-morning birdsong to fields of daffodils and bluebell woods. Plus there are plenty of tips to help you get closer to nature, whether you’re visiting somewhere new or just exploring from your own doorstep.

A child taking a close look at the spring blossom

The science of spring

Science agrees that being outside is good for you. Studies have shown that spending just five minutes in nature can boost your mood, restore your ability to focus and reduce feelings of anxiety. Spring brings warmer weather and longer days, so it’s the perfect opportunity to take some time out and explore the great outdoors.

Go in search of spring wildlife

Look out for spring flowers

Path through the woodland garden at Newark Park, Gloucestershire

Forage for wild garlic 

Wild garlic is abundant in springtime and the leaves have a mild flavour that is great for soups, salads and even curry. Thanks to its very recognisable scent it's also quite easy to find, but we've created a list of great garlic foraging spots just to give you a head start. Just remember to double check you've got the right plant before eating any, and to help look after the landscape by only picking small amounts.

Make wild memories
Heading outside this spring? With warmer weather and more hours of daylight, it’s the perfect opportunity to slow down and explore the world around you. If you’re not sure where to start then have a go at these top tips: specially designed to awaken your senses, lead you to new discoveries and help you make the most of the season.

Learn to identify plants and animals
There’s something satisfying about being able to name a wild flower in a hedgerow, or a bird soaring overhead. All you need to do is pick up a wildlife identification book or download an app, then head outside and practise. You could even start a nature journal to note down all your favourite sightings.

Experience the dawn chorus
Even if you’re not a morning person, the dawn choruses of May and early June are worth waking up for. There’s nothing quite like being alone in the dim dawn light and hearing that first call of the morning, which builds to a loud crescendo just before the sun rises. Try getting into position an hour before sunrise for the best chance of hearing the birds: woodlands are usually the best place, but you could also try the local park or even your back garden.

Create some wild art
Nature has been inspiring artists since the earliest cave drawings, so why not let it inspire you too? Take a sketchbook out on a walk to draw the details and landscapes you discover, or practise taking creative photos with your phone or camera. You could even make art from the natural materials around you like broken twigs, lost feathers and fallen leaves.

Give wildlife a hand
Birds can struggle to find food in early spring, so it’s worth putting a feeder in your garden – they’re easy to make using lard and bird seed. You could also build a pile of rocks and dead wood to make the perfect home for insects, or create some seed balls to throw into your flower beds. Eventually they’ll bloom and bring colour to the garden, as well as making a tasty snack for bees and other insects.