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.
April is the first month where you might be able to see or hear a Meadow Grasshopper, with sightings possible until the late autumn.
The Meadow Grasshopper mainly lives in damp pastures and meadows. They grow through a series of stages from wingless nymphs to winged adults, ridding their shells as they grow.
The nymphs are around from April onwards, emerging into winged adults in June. They feed on grass and plants until October.
The males can be seen displaying to females by rubbing their legs against their wings to create a song. Once the mating is over the eggs are laid just below the soil. The eggs will hatch the next spring.
Other things to look out for in April
- Woodland flowers are emerging from the woodland floor, such as the wood anemone and ramsons (wild garlic).
- Listen out for the dawn chorus and hear the blackbirds and the song thrushes singing their hearts out.
- In April you are likely to see cowslips and cuckoo flowers in the meadows. These plants tend to favour limestone soil and unimproved grassland
- Swallows, house martins and swifts return to British shores
- When the weather becomes warmer, usually above 14 degrees with bright sunshine, you are likely to see several kinds of butterflies such as the brimstone, orange-tip and the small tortoiseshell.