What to look out for in April...


It's that time of year again - head to the woods and soak up the colour and scent.

The bluebell is arguably the nation’s favourite flower and the UK is home to 50% of the global bluebell population.

While thought of as a woodland plant, bluebells are frequently found on verges and under hedges, a legacy of the days when Suffolk was far more wooded. Bluebells generally prefer lighter soils and are most abundant in the south and east of the county, but they can also be found elsewhere on clay soils that don’t become waterlogged. However, the bluebell is almost completely absent from the Brecks despite the sandy soil. 

Find our best bluebell woods here...

Nightingale song

You may be lucky enough to hear the beautiful song of the mightingale at this time of year. These inconspicuous, small brown birds are much easier to hear than see, tending to hide away in the densest bushes. Lackford Lakes has nightingales singing most years, visit their facebook page to check whether they have arrived yet. 

Dancing newts

After spending the cold winter months tucked away in a tree root or crevice in the ground, newts wake up around now thinking of one thing - breeding! You may see newts on the move as they make their way back to their original pond. Once in the pond, males will perform a wiggly dance, the purpose of which is to attract a female by wafting pheromones towards her.

Find a safe place next to a pond from which you can shine a torch into the water after dark, and look carefully amongst water weeds for dancing newts.

Rare fritillaries

It was not so long ago that the spring markets of Covent Garden were overflowing with the nodding, pink- and white-chequered blooms of Snake's-head Fritillaries. Handfuls picked from meadows beside the River Thames were taken to London by local children to be sold for a pretty penny or two. But today, the carpets of Snake's-head Fritillaries that once straddled our rivers and adorned our wet meadows have become a rare sight.

Snake's-head Fritillaries are unmistakeable - look for their chequered purple, pink or even white bell-like flowers, nodding on thin stems in April and May. They have narrow, grey-green leaves that appear at the base of the plant and occasionally up the stem.

We hold an annual open day every April to view these sensitive flowers, please ring 01473 890089 for details.