Wildlife Blog: Spring is coming

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18 March 2020


With warming temperatures over the last few days, nature is waking up from its winter slumber! Queen bumblebees have been foraging for a few weeks already and have now been joined by butterflies like the bright yellow Brimstone and the beautiful Peacock, which hibernate through the colder months.

Every wood and hedgerow is suddenly ringing with birdsong. Not only are the birds singing, but everything from blue tits, to kestrels, to swans are busy building their nests. At our head office in Campbell Park, we recently put up two nest boxes for robins. Almost immediately, one box was adopted by an early nesting pair and 6 eggs were laid in late February. The eggs hatched over last weekend and the adult birds are now busy feeding the tiny, blind chicks.

Meanwhile, ponds across Milton Keynes are alive with frogs and toads. Frogs can spawn as early as February and you can easily spot clumps of frogspawn in most ponds. Toads generally follow a few weeks behind and right now ponds at Howe Park Wood and Linford Wood are absolutely full of mating toads.

Toads can form marge masses called ‘mating balls’ where up to seven males will attempt to mate with one, larger female! Look out for the toads and their spawn, which unlike that of frogs is produced in strings or ribbons. These spawning amphibians also attract the attention of predators like grey herons – and perhaps grass snakes, who are also emerging from their own winter rest.



Discover our parks

  • Howe Park Wood

    Facilities:

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    Howe Park is probably the woodland mentioned in the Domesday Survey of 1086. Parts of it may be rare surviving fragments of the 'wildwood' that covered the whole of lowland Britain after the last Ice Age, 6-11,000 years ago.

    Refreshments
    There is a Café at Howe Park Wood ran by Grounds. The café is operating a takeaway only service until further notice.

  • Linford Wood

    Facilities:

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    Enclosed in the year 1264 by Baron Von Pippard, the original owner of the Linford Manor estate, Linford Wood is the largest and oldest of the Trust's three ancient woodlands. Despite its location close to the city centre, Linford Wood provides a tranquil haven for wildlife and people. Find out more about how we manage Linford Wood by clicking here.

    Refreshments
    There are no facilities within the wood but hot and cold drinks and other refreshments are available from the BP garage on the west side of the wood.

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