As the sun thaws the recent snow and warms us up a little and the snowdrops and daffodils reappear, be it a little dazed, we are once again able to don the wellies and return to the forest for our well-needed escapes and doses of fresh March air.
We’ve waved goodbye to February so we affix a new fascination on March with excitement for the coming spring equinox on the 20th March, marking the official change of season and the one we’re always most excited to welcome. This is because with the wonderful longer days, it brings promise of sunshine, blue skies and breathes vibrant life and colour back into our beautiful National Park.
Before the brief dip into an ice-age we were seeing an abundance of wild daffodils, crocuses and snowdrops, but for nature the big snow was but a minor setback. Spring is still very much on its way, already teasing us with glimpses of new life, you might just have to look a bit harder than usual.
Some wild Daffodils remain, the roads are still sprinkled with Lesser Celandines, the Heather which will once again carpet our New Forest in purples and blues is creeping back to life whilst the hardier thorn bushes are pushing through as if nothing happened, with plenty of hopeful buds.
So what can we expect in the coming months?
As April and May approach the forest’s leaves will once again be restored to their full green glory. The glossy leaves of Bluebells will be joined by their beautiful bell-shaped counterparts and the Heather will start to brighten and bloom across the forest, telling us that spring is truly in full swing. Magnolias and Lousewort will then join in the spring fun and stick around until late summer.
As life continues to develop just below the surface there’s excitement for what’s to come so perhaps we can forgive the big freeze as merely a ‘spring clean’ now that we can see signs of the forest enthusiastically jumping into spring like we know it can.
For now though, let’s enjoy spring walks and the ever-changing colours. Something that never ceases no matter what the weather, the roaming down roads from our lovely New Forest ponies – after all, it wouldn’t be the New Forest without them.
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