Watch the arrival of summer
April 2003 on the gardener's calendar...
The pace of change from winter to summer really ratchets up this month. Summer visiting birds like swallows and willow warblers will arrive back from their winter quarters as far away as Africa. Hibernating insects like peacocks and small tortoiseshells will start to appear in your garden (if you are lucky) and of course, countless plants start to come into leaf and flower.
Just sitting back and witnessing all this unfold is one of the great joys of gardening in a temperate climate like ours. But if you are so inclined, you can put your observations to even greater use...
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The dates on which these events occur are becoming more significant in the light of long term climate changes. Even our humble garden records (e.g. the date on which you see the first bumblebee in your garden and even the date you first cut your lawn), when combined with those of thousands of other gardeners up and down the country over a number of years, are an invaluable source of scientific data for those studying these ecological changes.
If you would like to contribute your own observations to this national record, you can do so through the UK Phenology Network
, either via their website or by post. See their website for details.
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Do you live in Merseyside? Interested in its wildlife?