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Do one thing

Set aside a corner of your garden for wild plants such as nettle and bramble.
This will provide cover for small mammals and food for a variety of insects including butterflies.

What to look for

Spring is in the air and many animals are coming out of hibernation. Peacock , comma and brimstone butterflies all fly on sunny days.

Long-tongued flower bees , looking like small black or brown bumblebees, visit garden plants such as lungwort . And the bee-fly , which looks like a bee but with a long snout, searches for nectar among the blooms of primrose , lesser celandine , butterbur or wood anemone . These plants are important sources of food for hoverflies and solitary bees .

Some birds are already breeding: noisy rooks in their treetop colonies and coastal gannets . The first chiffchaffs cash in on the insect supply and sing from sallow bushes in sunny woods.

On downland and coastal grassland, smart wheatears , fresh in from Africa, are flirting their white rumps on their way to upland breeding haunts.

You may see young rabbits above ground for the first time in fields and roadside verges. It is a busy time for voles too, with families to feed; you may catch a glimpse of one in a hedgerow or field border.

Now is a good time to look in streams for freshwater invertebrates, like mayfly and stonefly , as they prepare to emerge as adult insects.

Did you know

There are more than 1,000 species of moth at the National Trust’s Wicken Fen (the first ever nature reserve) in Cambridgeshire.

Habitat of the month: Freshwater, streams and ponds
Many invertebrates are getting ready to emerge at this time of year. Look for them as they are at their largest and most easily spotted. You don’t need a net, lift up a rock and see what’s there, but replace it carefully.

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