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  1. National

Flowers and insects booming as summer arrives early

A mild winter means that summer is arriving early as many species have "jumped the gun", experts have said.

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Winter storms hit nature and held back spring

Dismal weather and storms from December to February hit nature as well as people, bringing down veteran trees and drowning burrowing creatures such as moles, rabbits and earthworms, while the mild conditions led to very intermittent and disturbed hibernation.

...many things are still early, and things are finished early, primroses went early, bluebells, even oil seed rape, is going over down south, and a lot of things are coming up early.

Elderflowers are coming out early, some dog roses are in flower and that's 'hello June!'. Hawthorn in the south is at peak and coming out elsewhere, and it used to be end of May, not mid May.

In the fields, grasses are flowering early, buttercups are out early and the crops are very advanced as well, the wheat and barley are fairly advanced, particularly the barley.

– National Trust naturalist Matthew Oates

The excessively wet conditions, which led to repeated or constant flooding in some areas, initially held back the advance of spring, with plants such as snowdrops still early but not "unduly" early.

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