Eight ways to get out and Walk In The Woods this May
May is Walk In The Woods month here at The Tree Council - a month when we encourage everyone to get out and enjoy their local woods and trees as they burst into bloom for the year. Here are seven ways you can get out, get walking and soak up nature’s glorious awakening! The below are just a tiny sample of the events on offer, so go to our map to see what’s going on near to you.
- Enjoy a dawn chorus
One for the early birds (pun intended)! Sunday 4th May is International Dawn Chorus Day. The sound of birds heralding the start of a new day is one of nature’s most theatrical and breath-taking moments– and the amazing thing is it happens every morning, everywhere! There are lots of dawn chorus events taking place around the country, including this walk at the Horniman Museum and Gardens, which is being led by ornithologist David Darrell-Lampert.
The Woodland Trust are organising two dawn chorus events as part of a whole roster of May activities, one in Yorkshire and the other in Tring. In Lancashire, another is being organised at Mere Sands by the Wildlife Trust.
Or the night owls, why not try an evening bird walk like this one at Sydenham Hill Wood?
- Go for a bat walk
Bats are fascinating creatures with a wealth of mythical history. Did you know that a tiny pipistrelle bat can eat up to 3,000 insects per night? Pest control at its most natural. Enjoy an evening in the woods to learn more about bats and their habitats. Try this one at Sydenham Wells Park courtesy of the London Wildlife Trust, or this Woodland Trust walk in Hertfordshire.
- Spot the signs of spring
One of the best reasons to get out there and enjoy your local woodlands in May is to spot and enjoy the signs of spring shooting up around you. The London Wildlife Trust are holding an event at the Great North Wood, a remnant of a very ancient woodland. Other fab London-based events are being held at the Holland Park Wildlife Area and in Hyde Park.
- Join your local tree wardens
Reading Tree Wardens are taking local people on a friendly guided walk around Dinton Pastures, and this will include learning how to identify some common species.
Other local conservation and community groups may also have something planned, such as Friends of Oxleas Wood in the Royal Borough of Greenwich who are a Tree Charter branch and have a range of fun and friendly activities planned on the 6th May and throughout the month.
- Immerse yourself in local history and lore
From the historic London planes, to the British oak to the ancient woodlands which once covered this land, our trees have rich histories. The National Trust in Wales are organising this fab event which passes by a waterfall where legend has it King Arthur himself was killed, and visit the ruins of the Cefn Coch Gold Mines. Londoners can enjoy a bird walk in the Great North Wood with the London Wildlife Trust, the remnant of what was once a sprawling wood with history dating back to the Middle Ages.
- Ring the (blue)bells
Already, nature is rolling out this stunning blue carpet of flowers in woodlands around the country. A walk amidst these irresistibly cheerful flowers will lift your spirits. The West Yorkshire Scouts are holding a bluebell walk on 11th May, ending with craft activities and a campfire song – what could be better!
The Woodland Trust have a bluebell photography session taking place on the 18th May in Perthshire, Scotland.
If neither of these are local to you, check out this list of the Woodland Trust’s Bluebell Woods around the country, this one from the National Trust or this one from the Wildlife Trust reserves.
- Get involved in Forestry England’s Big Forest Find
If you’d like to contribute to citizen science, turn your Walk In The Woods into a fact-finding mission and join in Forestry England’s Big Forest Find, England’s largest survey of forest wildlife. Surveys such as the Big Forest Find give us information that can be used to promote, protect and preserve precious tree habitats into the future.
- Get out there with friends and family
You don’t have to go on a guided walk to enjoy and appreciate your local green, tree-filled spaces. Just grab your walking boots and the dog and get out there! You could follow or create a TiCL tree trail in your local area using the TiCL app, sharing your knowledge of your local treescape with other explorers.
If you do get out and walk, tweet a photo with #WalkInTheWoods to share how you’re celebrating, and we’ll retweet you!