What is phenology?

It’s the study of when natural events take place each season, such as flowering, bud burst in trees, and the arrival or departure of migratory birds. By comparing records in different years, you gain insights into how climate change affects plants and animals.

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So are spring events changing?

They are occurring days or even weeks earlier than 40 years ago. But species respond differently, raising concerns about ecological connectivity. For example, will nesting birds miss the peak of caterpillar availability?

How can I get involved?

Jot key dates in your nature diary. You can also contribute records to the Nature’s Calendar project, created by the Woodland Trust and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

What kind of things should I record?

Spring events could include the first flowers opening on bluebells, first blue tits collecting nesting material, first swallow and first leaves on oak trees, but the sky’s the limit. For more recording ideas, see the project website.

What happens to the data?

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This national network of recorders is very powerful because it generates data for academic researchers and the Government.

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