Timeline: 2017 wildlife and weather review

Stonehenge landscape, Wiltshire

Our traditional British seasons were plunged into chaos in 2017 as one of the hottest years on record sparked a “freak” year for nature, our wildlife and weather review revealed. We saw spring flowers blooming in autumn, unprecedented numbers of hawfinch arriving and an invasion of Portuguese Man O’ War. Our plans to reverse the alarming declines in UK wildlife are more urgent than ever amid changing climates and rising temperatures

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January gave us a mild first half of the month, followed by a cold snap that lasted for several days, before warmer weather resumed. Bumblebees started to appear in the mild conditions towards the end of the month.

Bumblebee feeding on chives



After a wet and windy start to the month, the weather became more settled and it was generally mild. It was the ninth warmest February since 1910. Bats and insects appeared to have hibernated well, undisturbed by mild unseasonal weather.

Daubenton Bats at Aberdulais



A mild and dry month, high pressure led to several bouts of sunny weather, making it the joint fifth warmest March in a series since 1910. The mild weather was good for nesting birds, and many spring flowers blossomed ahead of the norm.

Spring flowers in the walled gardens