Winter skipped past Watling Wood, a couple of days of intermittent snow dusted across the open spaces, enough to soak the ground, the months so far have been warmer than expected. The local warnings that it was going to be a ‘bad winter’ this year failed to materialise into bad weather. A few days of rain accompanied by the ever present Pennine wind and spring is upon us .
Even with the warmth at the beginning of this year though, spring has held back, resisted the urge of an early start. Perhaps Watling Wood is sheltered in some way compared to the surrounding area where the buds have been prevalent for a number of weeks, but after weeks of visiting in the hope of a change from the naked, forlorn trees, finally I was rewarded with Blackthorn blossoms and sprouts of greenery beginning to show everywhere. Underfoot is soggier than I have seen over the last year, but nature is thriving in it. Sun breaks through the brooding clouds to give sunlit glimpses of emerald leaves framed against the remnants of Autumn, the blossoms glisten as they shimmer in the gentle breeze.