The mild, wet weather on 7th March signalled the start of the frogs’ annual migration back to their ponds for spawning.  Although some got squashed on the roads many arrived safely.  During the next few days the shallow part of Morton’s Pond was full of bobbing heads.  A week later the party was over;  the frogs were gone and the pond was full of spawn.  Birds are also active as the breeding season approaches. Agnes Bantock, who has kept records of garden bird for many years, reports that the chaffinch and blue tit are now our most common birds, replacing the house sparrow and starling which have dropped to 8th and 5th positions.

This spring we cannot admire the woodland flowers because foot-and-mouth disease has put the countryside out of bounds.  It is easy to forget the importance of grazing animals, yet their presence, over many centuries, has created the British landscape.  Commonwood, Dawes Common and Penman’s Green show us that grassland turns into woodland in just a few decades after grazing ceases.  We hope and pray that this terrible epidemic will soon be over. Brenda Harold

This March 2020, we find ourselves in a new lock down but this time we can enjoy our woodlands if we keep a safe social distance from others. Do get out and about in the beautiful landscape in which we live. Woodland flowers are there to enjoy and they will without a doubt lift your spirits!!