April in Pembrokeshire

A Field Year – April

Spring has Sprung!

Pembrokeshire is fortunate in its westerly position to enjoy an early Spring and this month in the field has been the fastest changing of the Field Year. Every day there are new delights to discover and everything has transformed into a glorious waving sea of lush grasses and wild flowers. Most trees have come into full leaf and the birds are in full song, rushing to build nests and nurture their young.

Yellow, yellow and more yellow – as April gathers momentum, the early celandines and dancing daffodils give way to gorse with its heady scent and the landscape is transformed.As the grass grows tall, the dandelions bloom too and then later the buttercups come into flower in the hedgerows. From the top of “our” field there are great swathes of yellow oilseed rape in the distance  and by the end of the month, this crop is tall and luxuriant.

Oilseed rape has become a popular crop and flourishes in the UK – yields are high and the health benefits of its low saturated fats and high omega -3  together with the 45% oil in the seeds mean it has become wide-spread rather then just being used as a ‘break’ crop to improve soil quality.

April dawn

For the farmers, spring is a busy time – lambing almost done, the cows out and top-dressing and spraying to be completed in the fields.The days are lengthening and the weather this year in Pembrokeshire has been mostly dry and averagely warm in April – there was a weekend of bitter winds, but plenty of sunshine too.

As the month comes to an end , the swifts have returned to swoop and play over the fields and skylarks soar overhead, piercing the blue skies with their exquisite song.

Suzanne Ashworth of West Wales Web and Pembrokeshire Life Online
Words & Images by Suzanne Ashworth

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