Brecon Beacons Signs of Spring
Spring is well underway in the Brecon Beacons National Park. Our wildflowers are blooming, trees are blossoming, and birds are busy nest-building.
Getting outdoors into the spring air and connecting with nature is good for us so take a woodland walk, a stroll by a stream or just enjoy your back garden and see if you can spot any of these signs of spring.
A firm wildflower favourite, the forest floors of ancient woodlands around the Park will soon be carpeted with bluebells. Commonly known as English bluebells, these drooping, violet coloured wildflowers bloom from mid-April to late May. Find a bluebell walk local to you here.
You’d be forgiven for mistaken these bright yellow flowers for buttercups, they are from the same family after all. But celandines burst into life earlier than buttercups, spot these cheerful spring flowers in woodlands, hedgerows and brightening up gardens, providing a source of nectar and pollen for early emerging pollinating insects.
Sun-loving and star-shaped, the delicate wood anemone is also a member of the buttercup family and loves the dappled shape of ancient woodlands. Flowering well into May, you may also spot clusters in hedgerows and meadows.
Smell it before you see it! This pungent woodland wildflower is widespread across the Park and adores damp, shady places. With its long green leaves and delicate white flowers, keep an eye out for Wild Garlic on woodland walks, road verges or old green lanes.
Search for woodland walks here.
Have you heard your first cuckoo yet? A visitor to the UK, they arrive from April and stay until late June. Just long enough to lay their eggs in the nests of other birds, leaving the chicks to be raised by unsuspecting stepparents! When out walking along the edges of woodland and moorland listen out for spring’s first cuckoo call.
Another woodland noisemaker! The sound of rhythmic drumming by woodpeckers banging their bills against tree trunks, echoes through our woodlands. Look up high into the trees and if you may see a one of our three species; The larger Green Woodpecker with its brightly coloured feathers can often be seen on garden bird feeders. The other two are black, white and red in colour; the bigger and more common Great Spotted Woodpecker and the rare, smaller Lesser Spotted Woodpecker which is around the size of a great tit.
The ponds and lakes of the Brecon Beacons are home to the common frog. During Spring the female frog is busy laying thousands of eggs, which we know as frog spawn. The life of a tadpole is not an easy one as they make delicious snacks for a whole host of creatures, and out of the thousands laid only a few make it to become adult Common Frogs.
A true sign of spring, blackthorn, wild cherry and crab apple trees are blossoming across the Beacons. An early source of nectar and pollen for insects; our trees and hedgerows provide meals and homes for wildlife throughout the year.
When walking in our uplands keep a look out for skylarks, a small brown bird with the most beautiful song. Often seen marking out their homes by hovering overhead, at this time of year they are busy building nests and rearing young, so be careful to not disturb them when out in the countryside.
Wherever you go in the Brecon Beacons, please look after nature:
*Keep to marked footpaths.
*Leave no trace and take your litter home.
*Care for nature by not disturbing wildlife or picking wildflowers.
*Be a responsible dog owner by keeping your dog on a lead and bag & bin dog poo.
(Between 1 March and 31 July, you must have your dog on a lead on open access land, even if there is no livestock on the land. This is to keep ground-nesting birds safe)
Share what you see with the Biodiversity Information Service for the National Park. This will help us to build a picture of what is where in the National Park so we can work alongside others towards protecting it.
You can also use the LERC Wales App to record any species on the go in Wales: