Exe Valley – Spring is in the Air!

At this time of year it can be hard to muster up the enthusiasm for what is inevitably a muddy slog through the countryside… but last weekend’s ramble along a section of the Exe valley reminded me that it’s always worth it, whatever the weather! Over the last couple of weeks it’s definitely felt like there’s been a touch of spring in the air. The blackthorn was coming out into leaf, and there was a lot more birdsong in the air. I even heard my first skylark of the year along the way!

One thing I particularly miss over winter are our native wildflowers. It’s always a special treat seeing your first example of a particular wildflower each year. It can be interesting to keep a little diary of when the different species emerge in different places throughout the year (also a great way to keep practicing your ID skills).

The Lesser Celandine pictured above is often one of the first wildflowers you’re likely to see in large numbers, and there were several out in bloom in the hedge banks. Somewhat less seasonally, I also came across Herb Robert (whose feathery leaves are pictured below, alongside some lovely shiny fresh leaves of Lords and Ladies) and Hogweed in flower, both several months early.

For the more experienced ramblers, this time of year can provide a little extra challenge, and you can see how many species you can identify from their foliage alone.

By Chris Eyles, Senior Warden for Exmoor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *