Spring wildlife at Wenlock Edge
Spring is when Wenlock Edge comes to life, buds burst open and the fresh green leaves come out.
Spring is a great time of year for wild flowers; in the wood you can see swathes of bluebells, wood anemone, violets, primroses and you might be lucky enough to spot an early purple orchid as well. Many of these are ancient woodland indicator species which tells us that these areas of Wenlock Edge have been continuously wooded since 1600, resulting in it having a very high ecological value. Specialist plants like spurge laurel can also be found, which prefer the limestone soil on the crest.
The pungent smell of wild garlic fills the air as thousands upon thousands of bright green leaves burst out of the woodland floor: The fresh young leaves are brilliant for making a delicious hearty soup or versatile pesto. In late Spring the wild garlic, now covering vast areas as far as the eye can see, begins to flower and creates a stunning display.
To see the best displays of wild garlic, follow the Lea Quarry walk from Presthope car park. The leaves will be out in early April, before the flowers come out later in the month.
There are plenty of migratory bird species arriving including; Blackcaps, Swallows, Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers. Nuthatches, great tits and blue tits are also a regular sight and can often be spotted climbing up the trees and using our nest boxes. You can see many of these from our bird hide at Presthope and can practice your identification skills. You are sure to hear and witness many species singing their hearts out to impress a potential mate before busily collecting nesting materials.
Although you are unlikely to see the adorable mammals in the flesh, flowering trees including Oak, Hawthorn, sycamore and willow, are a sure sign that our population of native hazel dormice have woken up and are very hungry after a long deep sleep over winter. They will be back up in the tops of the trees agilely climbing tiny branches and stuffing themselves full of flowers and emerging insects.