Spring has sprung early for Sussex wildlife

A blooming Magnolia tree in Borde Hill Garden

A blooming Magnolia tree in Borde Hill Garden

First published in News by , Reporter

Glorious clear skies and warm sunshine graced Sussex again yesterday and the upturn is encouraging wildlife as well as people to come out and enjoy the weather.

Sussex Wildlife Trust said garden birds, small mammals, grass snakes, butterflies, such as Tortoiseshells and Peacocks, and blooming flowers such as Primroses are all starting to appear early this year.

Mike Russell, Sussex Wildlife Trust, said: “It is usual behaviour in the unusual conditions.

“When it hits about 13 degrees that is when wildlife starts really coming out.”

Mr Russell added many animals also had a bumper winter, with more food such as berries available for them to survive the damp and cold conditions.

The trust is not expecting any problems for animals from their early emergence, as long as there is not a lengthy cold snap.

Guy Barter, chief horticultural advisor at the Royal Horticultural Society, said: “Mild winter and mild spring means everything is growing fast, maybe even too fast.

“Insects are on the move again, but if there is a frost things could be damaged. It's a long way between now and the safe period for plants in May.”

Borde Hill Garden in Haywards Heath has seen its magnolias flower early. Head gardener Andy Steven said: “We are enjoying a really good display this spring.

“The Magnolia campbellii in the Azaea Ring is a sight to behold.”

David Sewell, manager of the Pavilion Gardens Cafe, said: “The spring daffodils are out and the squirrels are around, but the most noticeable difference has been the wildlife of people.

“We have seen people out sitting out on the lawns in the gardens and you just never see that this time of year - people normally aren't around until April or May.”

The weekend's balmy conditions, that saw Brighton beachgoers enjoying temperatures as warm as Barcelona, are expected to dwindle during the week to slightly more seasonal, but still above average, temperatures.

Tomorrow is forecast to be the best day of the week with long periods of sunshine and temperatures of 13 to 14 degrees - on Thursday temperatures drop with a foggy start.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency advise anyone enjoying the beaches to do so with caution after recent cliff falls caused by the wet and windy weather.

A spokesman said: “The Coastguard would like to encourage everyone to enjoy the UK coastline safely during this spell of nice weather.

“We are again advising the public to take great care when walking on cliff paths or along beaches.”

Comments (1)

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8:23am Tue 11 Mar 14

Juleyanne says...

People and dogs should be extra vigilant to the dangers of cliffs and cliff falls.
Too many dog owners gamble with their dogs lives by allowing them to run free close to clifftops. Dogs often chase rabbits and gulls perched close to the edge and tragically every year dogs die falling from cliffs. They often do not see the edge when running and statistics prove dogs go 'deaf' when in pursuit to owners calls. Simply using leads or extension leads near clifftops is common sense and saves potential heartache, injury or death and hazardous rescues by emergency services, vet bills and rescue costs.
People and dogs should be extra vigilant to the dangers of cliffs and cliff falls. Too many dog owners gamble with their dogs lives by allowing them to run free close to clifftops. Dogs often chase rabbits and gulls perched close to the edge and tragically every year dogs die falling from cliffs. They often do not see the edge when running and statistics prove dogs go 'deaf' when in pursuit to owners calls. Simply using leads or extension leads near clifftops is common sense and saves potential heartache, injury or death and hazardous rescues by emergency services, vet bills and rescue costs. Juleyanne
  • Score: 4

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