The lengthening days and warming sunshine are bringing a burst of life to the nature reserve.

The alder, with its vibrant blue buds, and the impatient wild cherry are leading the way in the native woodlands.

In the arboretum, the more cautious birch trees are biding their time for fear of a late frost. The reckless ornamental pear, pyrus chanticleer, on the other hand, has burst into blossom in a rush of enthusiasm for the good times to come. There are several rowan, cherry and crab apple trees which should give a continuity of blossom over the coming weeks.

Our work on the arboretum is winding down now so we can take time to appreciate the warmer weather. Whilst we still have some paths to repair, most of the tasks can wait until later in the year.

The roe deer have adopted the upper part of the reserve. Typically, 4 or 5 deer can be seen near Hog House Hill most early mornings. All of the wetland scrapes have populations of frog spawn and the open meadows are peppered with field vole trails.

We have started recording bird sightings across the reserve and are publishing the sightings on the village website. Star of the show, so far, is our resident green woodpecker. We are seeing several new species as the summer migrants start to arrive, but we are amateur bird spotters and often cannot identify them. Budding ornithologists, please come along and help us out. You can email nature@kippfordvillage.org and we will add your sightings to our database.