Spring has come early in the form of blooming flowers and butterflies, according to readers around the UK who responded to our callout.
While enjoying an early bit of colour in window boxes, gardens and local wild spaces, many expressed concern that a warming climate was to blame.
Below are some of the pictures and stories we’ve been receiving through the project – you can see more and add yours here.
Daffodils in Rachel’s garden in Cornwall have been flowering along verges since late December. “The image above was taken on 11 January 2018 in the village of St Tudy, North Cornwall. Snowdrops are everywhere; primroses too in sheltered spots near St Agnes on the north coast. The magnolia tree in our south facing garden has had buds growing since the end of last year.”
“This photo was taken in utter disbelief back in November and is the tip of the iceberg,” writes Brian, who lives in Torquay. “I’m aware the south coast is warmer than much of the rest of the British Isles, but wild snowdrops in November? I’m in my 60s, and this is a first.”
Reader John Harris, a photographer at Capel Manor Gardens, Middlesex, sent the above image of an early season red admiral.
The species is more commonly seen from around March but is the UK’s most popular. In 2017, red admiral numbers were seen by the Big Butterfly Count to have thrived, so they might be looking forward to an even better 2018.
“Almost everything is out now, from snowdrops to daffodils,” writes Sylvia Clare from the Isle of Wight. “My hellebores orientalis were especially weird this year, flowering from mid October through to a second fuller flush now – more than one of them too. In the picture above you can just make out the older fading blooms under the taller newer ones. I’ve seen them in December before, but never October.”
These early crocuses surprised a reader in Stourbridge.
And Verna Evans was walking in York House Gardens on 8 February and saw this as a sign spring had come early.
“Iris in January?” asks a reader in Dumfries and Galloway. “Could the blue moon have anything to do with it? So many questions!”
Liyana Azmi got in touch from Glasgow. “I was lucky enough to snap this photo on a rare sunny day at Glasgow University after a heavy snowfall the night before. I’m pretty sure those are daffodil sprouts and find it quite surprising to see them around the third week of January.”