Spring comes early this year

The first signs of spring are emerging weeks early in the countryside and in gardens as a result of the mild winter, experts said yesterday.

The Woodland Trust, which manages Nature's Calendar, where the public records signs of the changing seasons, said it already had reports of snowdrops and daffodils in bloom and silver birch, oak and hazel buds bursting.

The National Trust said fields were very green in comparison to last year, and the signs of spring were already emerging.

Matthew Oates, a National Trust conservation adviser, said: "After two cold winters, we've reverted back to the modern trend of mild, wet winters."