On March 2nd, following the previous months record rainfall, storms and gales, the wayward Jetstream suddenly moved south, allowing high pressure to drift in and the relentless winds to ease, albeit briefly before the topsy-turvy Jetstream moved once more. The rain set in and gusty winds returned.

As well as enjoying the beauty of pussy willow, I love to see what I call the 'greening of the weeping willows', their bright green leaves seeming to glow in the sunshine. Two of the best places to see them are around the lake in Bushy park and along Beverley brook in Richmond park (pictured).

Then, at the beginning of March, the pure white flowers of cherry plum open, thus heralding the beginning of spring along the hedgerows.

Then later in March comes blackthorn and if the blossom opens during a spell of chilly easterly winds the cold spring was known as a 'blackthorn winter' The bush is very spiky and provides ideal habitat for nesting birds. Early insects out of hibernation such as bees, bee flies, peacock and small tortoiseshell butterflies can be seen sipping nectar from the flowers on sunny days.

In autumn, the bluish-black fruits called sloes are often made into jam, wine and as a flavouring for gin.

Two rather scarce late summer hedgerow loving butterflies, namely the brown hairstreak and black hairstreak lay eggs on blackthorn twigs and the caterpillars hatch the following spring.