Introduction

Wild Time

Spring

Feel the beat of spring

Be dazzled by bluebells

Harken to a bittern's boom

Seek a swooping sand martin

Pen poetry among daffodils

Sway with dancing grebes

Get sent packing by a grouse

Take a ringside seat

Track down a tiger

Watch a rare sky dance

Chatter with a natterjack

Enjoy the great rush north

Look up in awe

Shine a light on newts

Eavesdrop on a nightingale

Go spotting early orchids

Follow a sat-tagged osprey

Gape at hunting hobbies

Nurse a passion for purple

Scour riverbanks for Ratty

Tip-toe among fritillaries

Summer

Hail the success of avocets

Go batty as night falls

Bewitched by a buttercup

Play the summertime blues

Thrill to damsels and dragonflies

Go after Dartford warbler

Make a splash with gannets

Stake out a badger sett

Hurrah for the king

Rejoice in Manxie's chorus

Delight in a glow worm

Fall for THE fastest bird

Be spellbound by orchids

Journey to a seabird city

Exalt at a skylark's song

Party with the puffins

Lounge with a lizard

Haunt a churring nightjar

Head seawards on safari

Discover the rare spoonbill

Join the toadlet exodus

Spot our largest butterfly

Wear a hat for terns

Hunt woodland beauties

Autumn

Admire our eager beavers

Marvel at migration

Forage for Autumn's bounty

Go nuts over squirrel nutkin

Ramble through purple

Gaze in awe at reds' rut

Wander in the wild wood

Cheer on the salmon run

Try a wild goose chase

Foray for fungi

Winter

Pay homage to the Russians

Go on a winter ghost hunt

Wonder at wintering waders

Fall in love with a seal pup

Hear Britain's tallest bird

Revel in roosting wagtails

Kiss beneath mistletoe

'Ooh' & 'aah' at murmurations

Lie in wait for an otter

Rock 'n' roll with geology

Wrap up for a raptor roost

Kiss beneath the mistletoe

Mistletoe © Zsuzsanna Bird

Keep your eyes peeled for this festive favourite

Keep your eyes peeled for the round clumps of mistletoe growing high in the canopy

Everyone knows mistletoe: that familiar pair of leaves with the sticky white berry in the middle.  Yet how many of us really know the plant?

The evergreen mistletoe grows as a parasite high up among the branches of other trees, tapping into the boughs of trees such as willow, poplar and especially apple for nutrients.  It was once a common sight in apple orchards but has declined in recent years as this traditional working habitat has slowly disappeared.

To spread from tree to tree, mistletoe has a clever way of getting around. Mistletoe offers its irresistible white berries to birds, most notably the mistle thrush.  The berries are coated in a sticky goo.  Once the bird has had its fill, it moves on and wipes off its beak on the branch of the next tree, often leaving a seed or two behind in its own special glue.

How to do it

Keep your eyes peeled for the round clumps of mistletoe growing high in the canopy.  And maybe take someone special along with you, for that perfect mistletoe moment. If you can’t get to the special places listed below…Mistletoe can be found throughout the country and there are some spectacular hanging globes in one of London’s Royal Parks, Bushy Park. Walk down the great avenue where about 70 of the limes are hosts to mistletoe, and about 150 of the hawthorns, that give Bushy its name, also have good mistletoe growths. The commonest places to find this distinctive plant are in ‘cider country’ - in Somerset, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

Special spots

Herefordshire:Walk through ancient orchards, boughs laden with snow and mistletoe. Though many have been lost over the past century, Herefordshire is still famed for its orchards which can be both havens for wildlife and a source of produce for people. Herefordshire Wildlife Trust manages the orchards at Lower House Farm and Common Hill , where mistletoe still grows in profusion.

Worcestershire, Knapp & Papermill

Lancashire, Pennington Flash

Frosty mistletoe © Zsuzsanna Bird

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