Allright, its only early february, and theres quite a bit of winter left yet, but, the year has definitely turned and things are already starting to move if you know where to look. My chickens have realised and have just started laying again.

Back at Roundhurst on the edge of Black Down the Snowdrops are looking fantastic.

The Hazel flowers are starting to open as well, which is great news for the bee’s as by March hazel pollen will be a really important early food source for them.

The male part is the catkin (the yellow hand like structure), this is where the pollen is produced. The female flower is the tiny red thing just to the left of the catkins. Female flowers on a hazel are so small and delicate most people don’t even notice them. I took this photo in one of the many hedgerows we have planted over the last few years, they are really starting to come into there own now and have a lovely mix of species growing in them.

Up on Black Down the first few birch buds are starting to swell and at the weekend I heard a woodlark singing on the heath, music to anyones ears. We are a way off from them nesting but I did think I would share this picture with you that I took last year, I happened across the nest as I was walking across Black Down and was lucky enough to have a camera in my pocket, I took this and then carefully left so as not to disturb them. In the centre in amongst the heather you should be able to make out a small clutch of woodlark eggs.