Blossom is raising the spirits
ISN’T it wonderful how nature can give you a lift even after the most gruelling day, weekend or month?
I drove into the car park at work, which is in a country park, feeling a bit Boomtown Rats Don’t Like Mondays after a weekend with more downs than ups.
As I parked the car I was confronted by a blackbird singing its head off in a tree crammed with white blossom.
This looked particularly stupendous against a gorgeous blue sky. My spirits rocketed. While this wasn’t a native cherry, as my pictures will prove, it certainly was some kind of cherry.
Ornamental cherry blossoms are brightening up car parks and gardens as we speak but our lanes and countryside have their own cherries too.
The Wildlife Trust does plant wild cherry trees as part of hedgerow networks, it all adds to the variety of food and pollen available to birds and insects in spring, summer, autumn and winter.
The white blossoms, which look a bit like confetti, appear between March and April and ripen to red fruits in summer.
So get down to our nature reserves and check out our all-year round colourful hedgerows!
Those autumn and winter berries keep lots of birds fed when it gets colder and food becomes a little more difficult to find.
Another native is the bird cherry which is again busy all year round. There is pollen for insects, leaves for caterpillars and fruit for birds, badgers and small mammals.
Bird cherry flowers appear around early April and these trees will grow in higher places than wild cherry, so you are likely to see them along woodlands and stream edges in the uplands of the region.
Also look out for the white flowers of the blackthorn, this is a thorny shrub again found in hedgerows.
Of course, blossoms go hand in hand with the arrival of spring when parks, gardens and country lanes are buzzing with the sounds of insects and birds.
The arrival of flowers certainly seems to have an amazing effect on the love lives of our wild birds.
And their importance to our wildlife also proves just how vital hedgerows are in the countryside.
Over the past century hedgerows have slowly dwindled in numbers with intensive farming and more development of the countryside.
However, I am pleased to report that the Wildlife Trust, farmers and land owners are planting more hedges.
To become a member of the Trust go to the website at www.lancswt. org.uk or call 01772 324129. For more information about Cheshire Wildlife Trust call 01948 820728 or go to cheshirewildlifetrust.org. uk.