After a soggy start to spring, the world is at last alive with birdsong, bright yellow daffodils and the first flurry of puff-white blossom. Bring on the bluebells!

This issue, we take a trek into the hidden world of the UK’s temperate rainforests, where the clean air and humid microclimate have created a lush green wonderland of hanging ferns and moss-coated trunks.

We also uncover the surprising habits of our native amphibians, from loud-mouthed northern pool frogs to the tree-climbing toads discovered by startled researchers as they surveyed dormice and bat boxes high in the woodland canopy. And don’t miss Strictly victor Hamza Yassin’s hot take on everything from filming eagles to bringing back wolves!

The fight to save our rainforest

All along the UK’s western coast, precious fragments of lichen-rich rainforest cling to ravines and valleys in some of our hardest-to-reach spots. In this issue’s big read, discover:

  • the incredible array of strange and sumptuous bryophytes, ferns and fungi that creep over trees, boulders and riversides, giving temperate rainforests an eerie, lost-in-time feel
  • how dedicated coalitions of like-minded charities, landowners and national parks are banding together to share expertise across rainforest hotspots in Scotland, Wales and south-west England
  • what's being done to rescue and revive these special places, from hunting down fragments to add to the map to removing invasive plants so the delicate ecosystem can prosper. Stopping hungry deer from munching new growth is a must, too!

Toad cool: funky frogs and natty newts

Why do great crested newts need protection? What’s a pingo pond? And do you even know what toadspawn looks like? Our spring Nature Focus feature reveals:

  • the Ice Age indentations that make perfect breeding grounds for our rarest native amphibian – the northern pool frog – and how we’re reviving these ancient ‘pingo ponds’ in Norfolk
  • how to spot newts in your nearest pond, and why your observations could help scientists understand the impact of climate change
  • why toads cross the road and don’t fear deep water… and why common frogs and native newts prefer ponds that dry up in the sun.

Spring has sprung: at last!

Daffs are peeking, blossom’s budding, and birds are chirruping their hearts out in the hedgerows. Time to head outdoors! But where…?

  • After five years of tree planting, willow weaving and hedgelaying at the Young People's Forest in Derbyshire, we reckon it’s time to explore this exciting new reserve. Planned and created by teenagers, it’s the future for sure!
  • Bright red nettles? Orange lichen? Caterpillars that look yellow by day but glow blue by night? Discover biofluorescence by looking at woods and wildlife under UV light – and prepare to have your mind blown.
  • Meet mythical dragons, hone your wood-crafting skills, or join ancient tree experts to spot the difference between veteran oaks and elderly alders – find out more in our all-new events column.

And there’s more...

From carpets of bluebells to bright-eyed dormice, our spring issue has more sumptuous sights than you can shake a twig at. Leaf through to meet:

  • the eagles, otters and orcas who share Hamza Yassin’s remote Scottish home – and discover how a childhood spent on the banks of the Nile inspired the BBC presenter's love of wildlife
  • the volunteer who’s been removing invasive Himalayan balsam from the woods beside Loch Ness – then using its leaves to dye wool and its flowers to make gin
  • the Birmingham charity using an innovative tool to discover which neighbourhoods need more saplings – and how our new tree equity map can help you discover how your area shapes up tree-wise.

All this and more in the latest edition of Broadleaf, free to members of the Woodland Trust.

Broadleaf is our magazine exclusive to Trust members. Its inspirational writing and stunning photography tell the inside story of how we, our members, volunteers and partners stand up for trees. To receive your regular copy, become a member now.

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