Explore the wild world through the seasons with our Wonderful Wildlife Experiences! Follow the links from this page to plan your wild year ahead...
The Wildlife Trusts seasonal guide offers magical encounters with the wild
As winter wanes and spring starts to unfold, our exciting new seasonal guide offers a perfect opportunity to plan a ‘wild’ year ahead.
For those who have ever wondered when and where to glory in the beauty of the rare swallowtail butterfly or to cheer at a salmon’s leap; for those who pine to see a puffin but don’t know where to head and when; or for those who want to spot an otter, osprey or orchid but don’t know how, The Wildlife Trusts’ seasonal guide to magical encounters with the wild offers answers to these and so much more.
Vote for your favourite wildlife experience online – the results will be published in 2017.
Now is the perfect moment to make plans and venture outdoors to see what’s sky-dancing, swooping or singing during half-term and beyond. Our guide homes in on the charismatic, the mysterious and the shimmering gorgeous – from gannets to glow worms, newts to nightingales, and bluebells to butterflies – and shows you how to get closer to the wild.
The Wildlife Trusts are uniquely placed to advise on the where and the when to watch wildlife – we care for more than 2,300 wild havens across the UK and host over 11,000 events every year bringing people closer to nature.
Vote for your favourite wildlife experience
We'd like to know about your favourite wildlife experience from our list of over 60 - and also a bit about the special moments that you had along the way. Please cast your vote - there's a voting button on each experience page - and tweet about your wild adventure using #lovewildlife. Share the wonder!
Click on a season to get started
Simon Barnes on discovering the Wild World
Every year follows the same pattern but every day is different to the one before and the one after: that’s the meaning of Wild Time.
If you want to understand the wild world you must first understand time.
As you travel through each year the world about you changes from day to day. You can tell where you are in your annual journey without needing to feel the temperature or count the hours of daylight: the briefest glance at any wild place tells you all you need to know. It’s possible to do the same trick just by listening.
Every year follows the same pattern but every day is different to the one before and the one after: that’s the meaning of Wild Time. So the birds sing out, the butterflies dance, the world starts to shut down again and then at the coldest time it’s all about holding on and trying to survive. Or is it? The most forbidding time of the year is when it all starts to begin again: and you can feel in your bones the mighty rhythm, the great four-four beat of the seasons.
Grasp the notion of Wild Time, and you begin to get a handle on the way the Wild World works: and as you do so, you begin to realise that you're a part of it too. Here are many, many ways in which you can get closer to the Wild World than you ever dreamed.
With our thanks to the following photographers who have kindly allowed the use of their wonderful images throughout this guide. Credits: bottlenose dolphin © Sarah Perry, boxing brown hares © Alex Appleby, swallowtail butterfly © Chris Mills, red squirrel © Jon Hawkins/Surrey Hills Photography, short-eared owl © Amy Lewis. Wildlife experiences text written by Philip Precey with contributions from all 47 of The Wildlife Trusts across the UK.