Mike Newby is Estate Warden at The Dartington Hall Trust. He oversees Dartington’s numerous conservation programmes, often working closely with our volunteers to help nature flourish across the estate.
The month of February can be a bleak month with freezing winds and possibly snow.
However there are signs of spring is around the corner with large clumps of snowdrops showing on the woodland floor.
Hazel catkins have started to grow ready to release their pollen to the wind. It is at this time as well that you can see fresh frogs spawn in the ponds; and wading birds flocking to estuaries and wetlands to feed on worms and other delightful delicacies.
Song and Mistle thrush have commenced claiming their territories and can heard singing elegantly from the tops of the trees. Blue tits can also be seen looking for potential nesting sites.
On the woodland floor the most visible leaves to appear are those of ‘Lord and Ladies’ emerging from the leaf litter and open once on the surface. Dogs Mercury and violets too start to green up on the ground in the woodlands. Later on this month the colourful primroses will emerge.