Real Family Holiday - Family Activity: Is it Spring Yet?

Spring is the time of year when everything comes alive after the winter months, but when does spring start?

March 1st according to the Met Office, traditionalists go with the date of the spring equinox which falls on the 20th or 21st March. But you might have your own personal trigger, a natural sign that you look out for each year that reassures you that spring is on the way.

Have you seen Daffodils? Lambs? Ducklings? Buds on a tree?

There is a science (phenology) to do with the dates when natural things happen and the UK government has an “official” Spring Index that is based on the occurrence of certain natural phenomena. The index is one of the UK Biodiversity Indicators and is calculated each year using the average observation date of the following four biological events: first flowering of hawthorn, first flowering of horse chestnut, first recorded flight of an orange-tip butterfly and first sighting of a swallow.

We would like you to help us work out when spring has arrived. 

No equipment needed just your observation skills. 

You can print this sheet to take out with you and fill in.

Please tell us the date of when you see:

  • Your first Swallow.

  • Your first Orange-tip Butterfly on the wing.

  • Your first fully open Hawthorn flower.

  • Your first fully open Horse Chestnut flower.

Swallow BorderOrange Tip polaroidHawthorn (1)Horse Chesnut

Tell us your results on the Real Family Holiday Facebook page, we need the four dates and the first part of your postcode. 


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