Friday 5 February 2021



This winter has been often very wet with flooding in places but there has also been some frost and snow. Snow isn't to everyone's liking and here in the UK our transportation networks are - despite what I assume is decades of experience - hopeless at dealing with it. However, I am very much in favour of the seasons happening in the correct place and time, two years ago the temperature reached 20 degrees celsius on one day in February which really isn't normal! The study of phenology has a long history here in the UK with records going back centuries in some cases, observations such as the first appearance of flowers, of blossom, of the first swallow among many other things. Spring has been getting earlier due to climate change and in general the weather has been getting more chaotic, and milder winters are often the norm nowadays.

So, to me, having a "proper" winter is reassuring. Knowing that the frost breaks up the soil into a tilth, that it sweetens the parsnips, that the many plants and bulbs that need the cold as part of their life cycle get what they need. Too harsh a winter can of course reduce populations of birds and other species but we humans can help with that by supplementary feeding and land management such that food is available for them when they need it. 

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