With a bit of luck (and the right winds) March is normally a good month. Days get noticeably longer and the weather usually gets a bit milder. As spring arrives the first bulbs begin to flower and the dawn of each day is given a melodious welcome by our song birds.

It’s also a time, after winter’s cold and wet, that it becomes a bit easier to stretch our legs and lungs in our beautiful countryside. With all our fingers crossed for a glorious spring, we’ve looked ahead at March to give you some ideas for getting out and about.

80,000 daffodils at Michelham Priory – all month, weekends only

It is not guaranteed, of course, but the early spring of March normally brings the glorious yellows and whites of daffodils. And there are few places better to enjoy a spectacular carpet of these beautiful blooms than Michelham Priory near Hailsham.

Provided it’s not been too cold visitors can enjoy a blooming bumper display of 80,000 of the flowers in 18 varieties bursting into life throughout the heritage site’s grounds. If it only took 10,000 daffs “fluttering and dancing in the breeze” to inspire Wordsworth, think what eight times that number could do for you! For more information visit: Michelham Priory House & Gardens – Sussex Past

Big Dog Day Out, Bewl Water – 25 March

For dog lovers the Big Dog Day Out makes a return for 2023. It promises a day out that you and your four-legged best friends will enjoy. Activities include an agility course, face painting, and family treasure trails. And starting at 11am, the dog show will host various categories including “The best biscuit catcher” and “The dog the judge would like to take home.” For more information visit: Big Dog Day Out at Bewl Water

Dog running in the countryside

Down by the sea – all month

With rockpools to discover, stones to skim, rocks to clamber over and fossils on the beach, Birling Gap is a potential treasure trove of wildlife family fun. The National Trust is challenging children to complete “50 things before you’re 11¾”. It has an activity sheet, available from the visitor centre, to help guide you on your way. Perhaps see how many you can tick off on Lookout Hill or down on the beach. For more information: Winter fun at Birling Gap | National Trust

National Trust poster

Nature Conservation volunteering, Ashdown Forest – 19 March

If you are, or if you know of, a young person interested in getting involved in nature conservation, March could be the month you sign up for the volunteer scheme at Ashdown Forest. A volunteer group for young people aged 12 to 17 and will meet on 19 March 12 – 3pm at the Ashdown Forest Centre in Wych Cross, Forest Row.

The scheme gives young people the chance to:

  • take part in practical conservation tasks
  • explore the Ashdown Forest with experts; learn more about wildlife surveys
  • gain future career experience
  • meet up with others who enjoy being outdoors

Volunteering with this group might contribute toward your DofE award, scout or guide badges or school community service. No experience is necessary and there’s no cost for volunteering, however you should book a place at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/youth-volunteer-group-tickets-457052966727. For more information email: education@ashdownforest.org or visit Youth Volunteer Group | The Conservators of Ashdown Forest

Ramblers in the countryside

Free, weekly one hour walks – across the county all month

Maybe you like the idea of getting out in the fresh air but worry about fitness or don’t know where to start? The free one-hour walks organised by The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) could be just the thing. Walking is one of the easiest ways to improve your physical health and boost your mental health. The TCV walks are designed to be an easy and sociable way to help people gradually get into a regular walking habit.

There are weekly walks at venues across East Sussex including:

  • Eastbourne
  • Hastings
  • Pevensey Bay
  • Rye
  • Sidley
  • Polegate
  • St Leonards
  • Seaford
  • Ashdown Forest
  • Bexhill
  • Crowborough
  • Hailsham
  • Ninfield
  • Battle
  • Lewes

As the title suggests, they are only about an hour and not too difficult, and being with a friendly group helps to keep you motivated and feel encouraged. They are all completely free and there is no need to book. For more information, including when and where the walks take place visit: https://www.tcv.org.uk/southeast/volunteer-south-east/east-sussex-healthy-walks/.

Whatever you have planned, we hope you share our excitement at the arrival of spring and all the extra beauty it brings for us to enjoy in the great East Sussex outdoors.