There's no doubt that spring seems to be happening later than usual this year. Traditionally daffodils are given as gifts on Mothers' Day, yet on the 14 March daffodils were still in very short supply here in the UK. There has also been a shortage of those "early spring signs" that often get reported – frogspawn in January for instance.

With the very cold winter that the UK has suffered there is no doubt as to the reason why that has been the case, but what may come as more of a surprise is that a late spring actually means a longer spring. Flora and fauna are appearing over a longer time period and this has already been seen with snowdrops as in some areas they have been in flower now for nearly seven weeks.

The other group that may well appreciate the later start are animals and insects that hibernate. For them the cold winter has provided an even longer period to hibernate in they haven't wasted energy coming out early and trying to find food in weather that's not so warm. Butterflies are slower to appear this year as caterpillars have taken longer to fatten up, and migratory birds are due to arrive any time soon.

It's certainly been a long and hard winter, but it sounds like we have a good spring to look forward to and with the long Easter weekend just around the corner, what better time to get out and about to experience nature?

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