Chris Oliver on early signs of spring

Head Ranger, Stackpole

Chris Oliver - Head Ranger

Spring is my favourite time of year, especially at Stackpole. The estate is waking up for the season, flora and fauna are beginning to emerge and the place really does come to life.

Head ranger leading a guided walk

With the weather usually a little kinder, it’s the perfect opportunity to admire the changing landscape and a great time for families to visit and discover nature. Spring is when I often bring my own daughter along to look at and hear the different sights and sounds.

Signs of spring

During the early signs of spring here, you’ll see swans pairing up on Bosherston Lakes, corvids building their nests – they’re particularly fond of Stackpole Quay – and sap rising in woodland trees like sycamore and elder.

A little later into the season, you’ll be greeted with blankets of bluebells in the woods, a heightened bird song – the dawn chorus is worth the early start – and colonies of coastal birds on the sea cliffs.


Drier conditions make it easier to work across the estate and this spring the ranger team will be working on the area’s overall presentation. The very wet winter has taken its toll on the landscape, so we’ll be focusing on path and woodland restoration and continuing to plant specimen trees in our new rose garden.

We couldn’t do it without you though! Your support means the Trust can maintain, conserve and improve Stackpole for the enjoyment of everyone.

Chris’ five must-sees at Stackpole this spring

  1. The display of daffodils on the terrace is a must-see in March. Follow the footpath and enjoy views of the Eight Arch Bridge and our national flower.
  2. From late March, Stackpole’s cliffs start to fill up with seabirds like razorbills, guillemots and gannets. Watch them fishing off the coast and listen to their noisy squawks.
  3. Stackpole’s wild garlic is at its best in April, you’ll find it dotted throughout the woodland and lining the footpaths. Look for a haze of white flowers and of course, that distinct garlicky smell!
  4. It’s worth taking an early morning walk along the Castlemartin Corse to our bird hide, particularly in April and May, to hear the melodic song of birds like reed warblers and sedge warblers.
  5. Our otters are known to make an appearance every now and again! Sit quietly by the eastern arm of Bosherston Lakes and be patient… for the best chance of seeing the otters visit at sunrise.