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

Nurse a passion for purple

Pasque flower Pasque flower © Steve Chilton

Easter sees the flowering of the purple pasque flower.

Another name for them is ‘wind flower’

On Good Friday, tradition has it that the pasque flower comes into bloom. While they may not always be exactly on time, thanks to the vagaries of the arrival of spring and the timing of Easter, when it does happen, the eruption of these showy blooms across some of our finest chalk grassland is a sight to behold.

A low growing plant with a cushion of feathery grey-green leaves amongst the short turf, the flowers are a stunning velvety-purple - open upward-facing bells with a contrasting golden-yellow stamen-filled centre.  After pollination the flower head suddenly shoots upwards, leaving a delicately fluffy seed head standing proud above the grass.

How to do it

If you can’t get to the special places listed below… Legend has it that pasque flowers spring from the spilled blood of Viking warriors.  You can also see pasque flower growing in profusion on three National Nature Reserves, at Barton Hills and Knocking Hoe (Bedfordshire) and Barnack Hills and Holes (Cambridgeshire).

Special spots

Pasque flower is now a very rare plant in the wild, lost from many of its former sites.  More than 99% of our pasque flowers are now found on just five sites, with one of the largest populations at Therfield Heath and Fox Covert , Hertfordshire.  Here up to 60,000 plants come into flower each spring, an impressive display.

Gloucestershire,  Pasque Flower Reserve Barnsley Warren 

Oxfordshire,  Hartslock

Pasque flower © Les Binns

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