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Spring Wood Anemone Spring Sun Through Trees Bluebells

Experience spring in the forest

Spring has sprung and it feels like all the people, animals, insects and plants alike are bubbling in anticipation of the summer sunshine. This is definitely the best time of year to venture around your local forest!

We all know that spring is one of the most beautiful times of year to visit the forest, but what can you expect to see?

What to look out for on your next trip to the woods!

Frogs and toads

COMMON FROG. Once frogs and toads have shaken off the winter blues and eaten their fill, they’ll start making frog and toad spawn. Frog spawn is in large clumps like bubbles in a bubble bath, whereas toad spawn is always in a line like a chain – but make sure not to disturb those eggs!


Hedgehog on woodland floorOur spiky friends hibernate in the cold winter months but at this time of the year they’re wiping the sleep from their eyes and looking for food. Watch where you put your feet!

Migrant birds

Nightjar on nestOur forests will be alive with the sound of birdsong in the next few weeks and months as chiffchaffs, cuckoos, swallows, house martins and swifts make their way back to the UK. Bring a pair of binoculars and see how many different types of bird you can spot.

Butterflies and bumblebees

Silver-studded Blue (Plebejus argus) Heathland species New ForestWe’ve already seen some Red Admiral butterflies as early as February this year, but more and more will be flitting about the woods as the weather gets warmer. And you’ll definitely spot a bee or two bumbling about the wild flowers at this time of year as well.


Pipistrelle Bat On mild evenings this spring, you might see a bat fluttering about the woods, but don’t worry, the type of bats we have in the UK, common pipistrelle bats, are totally harmless. Definitely not vampires in disguise!

Wonderful wildflowers

Wood anenome, (Anemone nemorosa).You’ll find wildflowers in abundance at this time of year, such as Wood anemone and celandine (yellow star-like flowers), and of course spring wouldn’t be spring without one of our most icon flowers – the bluebell. Spot these bountiful blooms in their full glory at the end of April, beginning of May.

Last updated: 2nd March 2017

What's of interest

Where have you been to see bluebells in bloom this year? Tell us on Facebook at Forestry Commission Woods and Forests. We'd love to see your bluebell pics too!

Look, listen, touch and smell. Download our fun spring activity sheet to see what you can discover!