Today (Wednesday 20 March) marks the official arrival of spring. It is also a chance for wildlife lovers across the UK to add their entries to the first ever crowd-sourced nature diary to celebrate the fact.
The digital diary – a project by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), researchers at Land Lines, the National Trust, Natural England and the Field Studies Council – aims to encourage people across the UK to document their observations of wildlife and what spring means to them.
Diary entries can be up to 150 words and could be a description of an early morning encounter with an urban fox on the way to work or the wonderful sounds of birdsong when walking in the woods.
Content will be live curated from dawn to dusk and could take the form of a poem or something about the symbolism or meaning of spring.
People can upload their diary entries and any accompanying images to the AHRC website https://ahrc.ukri.org/spring-diary/ and also share them on social media using the hashtag #springnaturediary. The best entries from across the UK will be selected by writer Abi Andrews for a specially produced ebook.
Dr Pippa Marland, part of the Land Lines research team, based at the University of Leeds, said: “The crowd-sourced spring diary will give nature lovers around the country the chance to participate in an event that combines the best traditions of citizen science with the opportunity to produce their own nature writing.
“It will offer a unique snapshot of the beginning of spring this year and mark an important moment in the history of nature writing in the UK.”
Main photo: White-tailed bumblebee in March – National Trust / Matthew Oates