Young Hart's Tongue ferns unfurling.
One of the best ways to learn about the countryside, and especially the county you live in, is to join your local Wildlife Trust. When I lived in Hampshire and then Dorset, I belonged to the relevant Wildlife Trusts, and have some happy memories of outings, especially Fungi Forays. Adult membership is in the region of £30 a year, so less than 50p a week. Junior membership is usually half that, and family membership half as much again, so very good value for money.
For this small sum, you will usually have free access to all the Nature Reserves belonging to the Trust (and indeed, your membership helps to purchase more). You will have a copy of the Trust's own magazine - usually quarterly - as well as 3 issues a year of the national magazine of the Wildlife Trusts. You will be sent regular events guides which will give details of walks, talks, Junior Wildlife Watch activities, and Volunteer work parties.
Your membership will help to maintain current Nature Reserves and save other threatened areas. It will pay for the Trust to train and employ conservation and education officers and it will help to train and educate the Volunteers.
Find out about YOUR local Wildlife Trust and join. Learn through the Wildlife Workshops. Find out how to make your garden more wildlife-friendly. Record the wildlife you see in your patch.
Click on the Wildlife Trusts link to the right of the blog for further details.
The leaves of Shining Cranesbill.