Spring is in the air
Getting ready for Spring
At time of writing, the weather is positively balmy. It is the tail-end of February and the temperatures are hitting 18-19 degrees centigrade. There is a real sense of growth and renewal as the spring flowers are pushing rapidly through the warming soil. Patches of bright colour can be seen everywhere as the bulbs open up to the sun.
It is a time that we absolutely love here at Rookery Farm. We start the flowering season early with our carpets of snowdrops – something the farm is famous for. And then the blooms just keep coming as the daffodils start to emerge.
Rows of dancing daffodils
We really urge our guests to get outdoors at this time of year. Chief attraction around the farm are the rows and rows of daffodils. Enjoy the sight of their yellow, orange, white and golden heads waving gently in the wind.
Moving further afield and there are some glorious spring sights around our corner of the county.
Bluebells in Foxley Wood
Foley Wood, near the market town of Fakenham, is Norfolk’s largest remaining area of ancient woodland. It is thought to date back 6,000 years.
While the Wood is a great place to walk any time of the year, people tend to flock here in late April or early May to witness the riot of colour that carpets the woodland floor. Foxley is one of the UK’s most famous bluebell woods. Unlike many bluebell woods, which have a mere sprinkling of this delicate blue flower, at Foxley you’re greeted by a sea of blue, rolling into the distance.
There are many other woodland plants and flowers to enjoy, along with the full quota of woodland birds. Note, dogs are not permitted in this reserve.
Butterflies take wing in the Norfolk Broads
Take a trip to the Broads to marvel at the flying insects as they appear after their winter hibernation. The sheer diversity and exuberance of Norfolk’s many butterflies, dragonflies, moths, ladybirds and mayflies is astounding. If you can find a hand-lens or magnifying glass to look at some of our smaller winged creatures you will discover a whole new, world of colour, pattern and extraordinary structures.
For butterflies and dragonflies including two rare species, Swallowtail butterfly and Norfolk hawker dragonfly visit NWT Upton Broad, NWT Hickling Broad or NWT Ranworth Broad.
Swifts announce the arrival of spring
There is no surer sign that summer is on its way than the appearance of swifts and swallows. Arriving in April and May, once you have witnessed the arrival of the first flock of swifts screaming their way down village streets, hurtling round buildings, and screaming ‘we’re back’ in the way that only swifts can, you know that warmer days are on their way. May is the month to listen out for the arrival of one or the world’s most remarkable birds. Visit NWT Cley Marshes and NWT Holme Dunes to spot early arriving swifts in April.
Mad March Hares
Brown hares are quite common sight across much of Norfolk, even though nationally they have declined. If you take a wander along a field edge or bridleway in the early evening, you will see one of the great sights of English nature – gatherings of up to 30 hares. March is the time of year when they get feisty and you will see the famous boxing bahaviour. Contrary to popular belief that is is the males boxing, it is in fact females boxing to drive away over-attentive males.
These are just a few of the sights you will see as you explore Norfolk’s natural world. For further information about things to see and do in Norfolk, visit Experience Norfolk, a website dedicated to showcasing all that is good about the county.