Longshaw's spring flora

A ranger shows visitors wildflowers

Longshaw is a great place to look for wildflowers because it has such a variety of habitats. From moorland to the pond and woods, keep your eyes peeled for nature's brightest signs of spring.

Trees are starting to send out shoots and young leaves. One of the best looking and smelling plants is Blackthorn, bursting with white blossom. Traditionally blackthorn wood was used to make walking sticks, so it’s a good wood to look out for as you head out for a stroll. Probably leave it in place, though, and leave walking-stick making to the professionals…

A spectacular display of blossom from a blackthorn tree
A blackthorn tree in full blossom in Hatfield Forest
A spectacular display of blossom from a blackthorn tree

You can also see yew trees in flower near the visitor centre; male flowers look like whitish globular berries, and female flowers look like green or brown mini acorns. They are a great tree for nesting birds, as they have thick foliage to protect them from predators.


Spring flowers such as wood anemone and daises bloom in Granby Woods, and “cuckoo flower” is growing around the pond. You can recognise it by its four pale-pink petals, but can you guess how it gets is name (hint: certain migratory birds are arriving around the same time as they bloom!)?

Wood anenome and celandine emerge before the sunlight is blocked by leaves on the trees.
white wood anenome and yellow celandine flowers among green leaf
Wood anenome and celandine emerge before the sunlight is blocked by leaves on the trees.


In the meadows and open spaces, cowslips look a little like yellow bluebells, and grow in places which get plenty of sun; they could be a clue to good picnic spot – though try not to sit on them! You could also glimpse the delicate early purple orchid, which normally bloom around the same time and place as bluebells. Hay Wood and Jubilee are good places to look in late April.

Family by the pond


When you enjoy signs of spring at Longshaw, you help to look after the Peak District. Thank you! Find out more about Longshaw's wildlife here: