Spring woodland flowers

Spring is a wonderful time of year for woodland walks, the fresh lime green of the leaves of the trees makes for a soothing encounter with nature.


We went for a walk in the woods to see what else there is to soak up at this time of year. These photos were taken in a small patch of woodland on the edge of Bedford, with plenty to see if you take the time to look.


Wood anemones

Wood anemones are one of the underrated joys of spring, forming carpets of stars in woodland. Wood anemone is an ancient-woodland-indicator plant as they spread slowly. Find them in open, sunny spots such as coppices.

Carpet of wood anemones

Hawthorn or blackthorn?

The Woodland Trust have a handy guide to telling the difference between blackthorn and hawthorn. Blackthorn usually flowers first, from around March to June whereas hawthorn flowers from around April to June. Blackthorn blossoms before its leaves start to show, whereas hawthorn flowers after its leaves have emerged. This is one of the best tips for identifying the two species in spring.

Blackthorn or hawthorn?


Bluebells are just starting to appear in woodlands at this time of year. The distinctive clumps and carpets of deep blue-purple are a real sign that spring is here.

Early bluebells


At this time of year even a small patch of woodland will be filled with birdsong. Look (and listen!) out for blackbirds, robins, great tits, blue tits, magpies, woodpeckers and chiffchaffs.



Early fliers include the unmistakable yellow-green brimstones, ragged edged commas and colourful peacocks. On warm days the lazy hum of bees will fill the woodland and butterflies will stretch out their wings to soak up the sun.

A comma butterfly soaks up the sun

Photo competition

If you’re feeling inspired to get outside and see what’s in bloom then you might want to take a look at our photo competition.

Here at CPRE Bedfordshire we love seeing pictures of Bedfordshire’s flora – from wildflowers to woodlands and hedgerows to fungi, but we love seeing people appreciating it even more! So for this year’s competition we want to see images that capture people enjoying Bedfordshire’s varied plant life.

To get your creative juices flowing, examples of pictures that would fit the theme include a close up of hands touching bark, boots in autumn leaves, people giving scale to a bluebell wood, or children sowing wildflower seeds.

Find out more.



Quernmore landscape