ELLEN Winter of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust reflects on a month of activity in around the Stroud Valleys.

A few sunny days have really put a spring in my step… Being out in the sunshine, smelling the first spring scents of new growth and listening to the birdsong have really revived me, like uncurling from hibernation.

The first blossom is out, celandines and speedwell are flowering, and spring is on the way.

Amidst all this there are still the last of the winter tasks to finish off before the nesting season gets going. So we are running a Cake and Conservation taster day at our magical Lower Woods nature reserve near Wickwar on Sunday, March 9, from 10am to 3pm. Come and learn how to coppice hazel trees with reserve manager Neil Lodge, and find out about this amazing and ancient wood, the largest in the south west.

Taster days always get a really friendly group, and are aimed at beginners – people usually range from utter novice to complete rookie. We will show you what to do, provide the tools and gloves, and feed you cake to keep up your energy levels.

You learn at your own pace, get plenty of chance to chat, and we usually find lots of interesting wildlife to look at. The Lower Woods reserve manager Neil is a font of knowledge on everything from rare butterflies to the best way to toast a cheese sandwich over a bonfire.

Most people who come are surprised at how much they enjoy being out in the woods, and how well they sleep after a day in the fresh air. People come on their own, but we also get couples, families and friends. If you come you will be working outside for the day, so you will need good boots, outdoor clothing, and a packed lunch, but we supply everything else.

If you are interested and would like to find out more contact me at n ellen.winter@gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk or call 01452 383333.

There are lots of cake and conservation days throughout the year, find out more and book your place by visiting www.gloucestershire wildlifetrust.co.uk