The woodland in spring at Nymans
The sap's rising and birds and bees are stirring, as the season of warmth, light, colour and birdsong gets underway.
From early spring, bees start to come out of hibernation, with queens flying off to scout for homes. Butterflies emerge from their chrysalises and hedgerows burst into bloom with blackthorn flowers on bare branches and catkins providing important early nectar for insects.
In the woodland, insects fly over a stunning carpet weave of lesser celandine, wood anemones, violets and bluebells - all lovers of dappled light. They race to bloom and set seed before the canopy closes over.
There is a sense of renewal and change at this time of year. Birds are migrating with redwings heading back to Siberia and warblers, chiff chaffs and black caps newly arrived from Europe and North Africa.
Spring is a prime time for spotting birds as the trees are not yet fully in leaf. The woodland is the best place to hear birdsong with males advertising their territories and attracting a mate with their colourful plummage or exotic flight routines. In the limited space of a woodland attracting a mate is all about the song.
Once paired the busy time of nest building begins - crows build messy, twiggy nests, house martins use mud, long tailed tits build with feathers and blue tits favour wool to line their nests. We have a great number of breeding birds in the woodland - one of the resasons we are a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).