It’s not cold, this is how it’s meant to be
Spring begins today, Monday 1 March, and it is running about three weeks to a month late compared to recent years.
The coldest winter since 1981 has kept the natural world locked up tight, substantially setting back the blossoming of trees and spring flowers, and delaying the emergence of hibernating insects such as bumblebees, and red admiral and peacock butterflies.
Over the last 15 to 20 years, spring has advanced considerably because of the warming climate – according to the Met Office, Britain’s average temperature has increased by a full degree centigrade since 1970 – and by mid-February in most years, blossom and spring flowers are in evidence, as well as butterflies on warm days.
But this year the natural world is only just awakening. At the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, for example, the million or so Crocus tommasinianus which form a quite spectacular carpet of pale violet began to flower on Friday – whereas they were out in early February last year.