Nature's Calendar

Nature's Calendar, run by The Woodland Trust involves the recording of the timing of natural seasonal events; for example, trees coming into leaf or the arrival and departure of migratory birds. The more technical name is Phenology derived from the Greek Phainomai (φαινομαι)- to appear, come into view, and indicates that phenology has been principally concerned with the dates of first occurrence of natural events in their annual cycle - Wikipedia

The key aim of Nature's Calendar is to demonstrate how climate change is affecting wildlife habitats.This is a very effectiveNatures Calendar website campaigne involving volunteers all round the UK who, once registered, can add data online and see in live maps how their own records are contributing to the study.

The study identifies a relatively small number of well defined events (typically 5-10 key events each season) Members can download useful information to help with identification of these events.

The study has several elements in common with the Parish-Wildlife approach:

  • Regular recording of relatively simple information
  • Provision of teaching aids to improve ID skills
  • Feedback on what members contribute to the study

The key differences in approach between the two studies lies in the greater depth of information that is recorded and in the community aspects of the Parish-Widlife Scheme. Nature's Calendar has far more sophisticated presentation of the results.

Many of our members do record obvious phenology events, such as the arrival and departure of swallows, on the special event forms. We have explored adding a phenology events list to our Wildlife Diary checklist. The two approaches are complimentary and on balance it is probably best for any of our members interested in the approach to record directly onto the Nature's Calendar website.