Longshaw's spring wildlife

orange tip butterfly on flower close up

Now the snow has finally gone for the year, Longshaw's wildlife is buzzing with activity.

As the weather warms up and the days get longer, thousands of migrating birds pass over the Peak District. Spring visitors such as house martins and skylarks are on their way from South and West Africa. Look out for swallows skimming over the fields in front of the Visitor Centre, and listen for the rare but unmistakeable sound of a cuckoo.

Save the skylark
A skylark in heather
Save the skylark

Hedgehogs and bats are coming out of hibernation, and some mammals have already started raising families. Badger cubs, bat pups and hare leverets are being born, and you have a good chance of seeing mammals finding food for their families.

A badger in the evening sunlight, Derbyshire
badger, sunlight
A badger in the evening sunlight, Derbyshire
 

Adders, toads, the rare great crested newt might be tempted out of hibernation from log piles and dry stone walls on sunny days. Frogs are busy laying frogspawn in Longshaw pond; you can hear them croaking from quite a distance.

Look into ponds for frogspawn
A close up of frog spawn in a pond
Look into ponds for frogspawn

Trees are starting to send out shoots and young leaves. One of the best looking and smelling plants is Blackthorn, bursting with white blossom. Spring flowers such as winter aconite, wood anemone and daises bloom on Longshaw meadow, and “cuckoo flower” is found in boggy places.

Bluebells in the woods

When you come for a spring walk at Longshaw, it helps us look after the wildlife. Thank you.