Woodland Trust

Nature's CalendarNature Detectives

Look out for the first tinting of silver birch leaves

Snowdrop. Margaret BartonMarsham's 27 indications of spring

Started in 1736 when Robert Marsham was still a young man, and continued by his family until 1958

They provide unique records of springs between those years and how they related to the weather, showing us just how responsive spring events are to temperature, and warning us that not all species respond at the same rate. They recorded:

 first flowering 
Wood anemone first flowering 
Hawthorn first flowering 
Turnip first flowering 
Hawthorn first leafing 
Sycamore first leafing 
Silver birch first leafing 
Elm first leafing 
Rowan first leafing 
Oak first leafing 
Beech first leafing 
Horse chestnut first leafing 
Sweet chestnut first leafing 
Hornbeam first leafing 
Ash first leafing 
Lime first leafing 
Field maple first leafing 
Swallow first seen 
Cuckoo first seen 
Nightingale first heard 
Nightjar first heard 
Song thrush first heard 
Ringdove (Woodpigeon) first seen 
Rook first nest building 
Rook young first seen 
Brimstone butterfly first seen 
Frogs and toads first heard croaking

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Robert Marsham

Bewick's engraving of a swallow used to illustrate Gilbert White's "A Natural History of Selborne"