BOBBING along in a sea of grass, these daffodils at Oxford’s Botanic Garden signal that spring has sprung across Oxfordshire.
Following the county’s wettest winter on record, nature has woken up to warmer March days.
Trainee horticulturalist at the botanic garden Ness Newman was thrilled to see the flowers.
She said: “The daffodils are showing their lovely, cheery heads and spring is at last on its way. The tulips are starting to grow and it is lovely to see everything coming to life.”
The Woodland Trust reports the emergence of butterfly species including red admiral, small tortoiseshell and peacock, which are appearing in greater numbers than this time last year.
A spokesman for the trust said: “We have had the first signs of trees coming into leaf.
“We have records of elder and hawthorn leafing, which are the first two species you would expect to see leafing.
“We have also had a sighting of frogspawn and lesser celandine flowering and even one record of a brimstone butterfly.”
Bluebells are also emerging in National Trust properties like Buscot Park, Faringdon.
Radcliffe meteorological observer Dr Ian Ashpole, who takes daily rainfall figures at Green Templeton College, said: “February followed the theme of December and January in that it was very wet. The total recorded rainfall was 90.1mm, which is 48.7mm above the expected amount for February. It was the 11th wettest February on record.”
February was the wettest Oxford has seen since 1990 with double the expected monthly rainfall.
Dr Ashpole added: “Combining this total with that of the previous two months, winter 2013/14 has easily been the wettest ever recorded in Oxford, with a total of 334.7mm of rainfall exceeding the previous record set in 1990 of 310.7mm by 24mm.”
Met Office press officer Daniel Williams said: “This was the wettest winter since 1910 for the UK and the wettest on record for Oxfordshire, with the 417.6mm of rain beating the previous record set in 1915 of 359.5mm.”
This winter has also been the fifth mildest winter in Oxfordshire since 1910. Mean temperature for Oxfordshire was 5.9C which is 1.7C above average.
And this weekend? Forecasters say it will be cloudy but warm with temperatures of 13C.