Get close to nature in April

Monday 9th April 2018

Swallows, by Neil AldridgeSwallows, by Neil Aldridge

Once April arrives, you’re in no doubt that spring is here. The days are getting noticeably longer, the startling green of new growth is all around on trees and hedgerows, and wildlife is definitely stirring.

On sunny days look out for bees and butterflies making the most of the early flowers, and maybe even visiting hawthorn - the blossom is known as May, but it seems to be blooming earlier every year and now it’s quite common to see it come out in April. Out and about, you may well spot early seasonal visitors like swallows and house martins, and perhaps hear the distinctive call of the cuckoo. A walk in ancient woodlands will reward you with a feast for the senses, as carpets of bluebells bring a splash of colour and delicate scent, while melodious birdsong fills your ears!

You can discover just how the local natural world is faring at the launch of the Sheffield State of Nature report on Friday 27th, 6.45-8.30pm. Multiple organisations have contributed to create the most detailed, up to date information about our local ecosystem, revealing clear examples of where nature is in serious decline as well as highlighting inspiring examples of conservation and environmental activity. The launch event will provide an opportunity to hear from some of the authors and case study contributors, and you’ll get a copy of the summary report too.

If your small humans need something a bit wilder, then you’ll be glad to know we’ve got you covered with our half term events at Ecclesall Woods Wild Play! There are still a couple of sessions to choose from; Tuesday 10th, 10am-12pm and 1-3pm, and Wednesday 11th, 10am-12pm. Or come and investigate the enchanted forest. Our brand new Toddler Trail at Greno Woods opens on Thursday 12th.

On warm evenings those extra pollinators are irresistible to our favourite flying mammal. Learn how to do a proper bat survey by joining bat specialist Jon Goodrick on Friday 20th, 12-7.30pm for a day's training on our Introduction to Bat surveys. You’ll learn ecology and survey techniques, and there’s an optional evening survey session to put your new skills to the test.

If you’d like to give nature a real helping hand, then get your boots on and join one of our volunteer work days for an hour or two. We’re at Blacka Moor on Thursday 19th; Woodhouse Washlands, Friday 20th; Sunnybank, Wednesday 25th; and Greno Woods, Friday 27th. Want to know what we’re up to at Moss Valley Woodlands? Come to the Reserve Advisory Group and find out! Join us on Saturday 21st, 10am-1pm for a walk around the reserve. It’s a great chance to ask questions and find out about future plans for the site.

For science with a sprinkling of science fiction, step into a brave new world with our Alien Invaders Evening. Find out whether the host of new invertebrates to the Sheffield area come in peace, and what we should do about them. On Thursday 12th, 6.30-9pm, this is natural history, but not as we know it!

Don’t forget to share your natural experiences with us on social media! It’s also a great way to keep up to date with all the latest natural news and events.

You can find out more details about all our events and workshops by visiting wildsheffield.com/whats-on or email nature.reserves@wildsheffield.com for more information about volunteering on your local reserve.