Home   News   Article

Help show how the Highlands is stepping into spring

By John Davidson

Register for free to read more of the latest local news. It's easy and will only take a moment.

Click here to sign up to our free newsletters!

Nature lovers across the Highlands are being urged to look out for signs of spring for an interactive project run by the Field Studies Council and the Royal Society of Biology (RSB).

After a particularly stormy and unpredictable start to the spring, flowers emerging, buds on trees or a dragonfly whizzing past are all signs that the new season is finally here.

The Signs of Spring survey, which is running online, aims to encourage people to spot and record when they see particular signs of spring in nature, like new frogspawn in ponds and daffodils emerging from the ground.

People are being encouraged to take part in the citizen science project by getting out into nature.
People are being encouraged to take part in the citizen science project by getting out into nature.

The survey is open to all ages and a live map will chart the responses of people from around the UK for everyone to track.

Amy Bandaranayake, the Field Studies Council’s digital learning officer, who is leading the project, said: “Everyone looks forward to spring, when the first signs of new life help lift the darkness of the winter months. There are so many signs to look out for, and we hope lots of people will enjoy getting involved in our survey.

“It will be interesting to see how things are progressing around the country as contributors enter their survey data.”

Susie Rabin, associate director of communications and public affairs at the RSB, said: “It’s great to be able to work with the Field Studies Council on the survey and the live map. Getting people out to enjoy nature and the environment is very much part of the ethos of both organisations, and we look forward to seeing what this year’s survey shows us about the biology of the UK in springtime.”

The survey is live and will be available online until June. It is asking people to record evidence of 10 different signs of spring while they are out and about: bluebells, bumblebees, butterflies, daffodils, damselflies and dragonflies, frog spawn, hazel catkins, ladybirds, snowdrops and the first cut of the lawn.

The data received will feed into a website which will update findings around the country as they arrive. Once complete, it is hoped this set of UK-wide biological records will be combined with results from future surveys and used to help monitor the impacts of climate change on nature.

As well as recording each of the signs of spring, those taking part will be asked for information about the weather conditions and time of day to make sure the information is as complete as possible.

Amy added: “The results of the survey will give us valuable information about the signs of spring. By collecting data over a number of years we hope to build a picture of the effects climate change might be having on the environment and individual species.

“It’s also a great excuse to wrap up warm and get out into nature, so we’re looking forward to lots of people taking part in this citizen science project.”

For more information and to take part in the Signs of Spring survey, visit https://www.field-studies-council.org/signs-of-spring/ or https://www.rsb.org.uk/signs-of-spring

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More