Almanac: March 2022

Nature notes, positive ecological news, tides and moon phases

A sunny March day can chase away winter blues in an instant. Suddenly the air is alive with spring and there is no stopping it. Butterflies like peacocks are on the wing and the bumblebee begins to hum in the garden; you see buzzards catching warm thermals and flying like acrobats overhead. We now take buzzards for granted, but only a few decades ago they were rare, after persecution by gamekeepers and farmers. 

This month brings us the official first day of spring, 20 March. In the woods, look out for abundant nettle tips and wild garlic. Gardening can finally begin in earnest, but exercise caution with frost, as it clings on. Good plants to sow outside are kale, onions, radishes, chard, cabbages, cauliflowers and endives. If you have a heated propagator or indoor sunny windowsill then you can start your chillies, cucumbers and tomatoes! 

Here’s an inspirational tip this month: rise early on a clear morning and look for the planet Venus as she rises to the east a few hours before sunrise. Then sit and wait for the dawn chorus, and at this time of the year the skylark is the first to break the day with its glorious sound.

Positive Ecological News

Tallinn makes “highways” for bees

Estonia’s capital, Tallinn, aka Europe’s Greenest City, is leading the way with “pollinator highways” of wildflowers through six city districts – creating a river of blooms to attract both insects and pedestrians. This strategy has been praised by the European Commission.

Pristine coral reef discovered in Tahiti

Marine researcher Laetitia Hédouin found one of the largest-ever untouched coral reefs on a recreational dive. “[It’s] made of giant coral shapes… it seems to go on forever” she enthused. Coral reefs are complex aquatic networks – home to a quarter of all marine life, providing food and shelter to sea animals, and also helping to protect coastlines from storm impact.

Mexican “Tequila” fish saved 

In 1998 a group of scientists from Michoacana University intervened to save a fish named after the Tequila Volcano. They started a colony with five pairs of Tequila Splitfins from aquarist Ivan Dibble and recently estimated that about 1,500 tequila fish are now swimming in the wild. “It is a real privilege to have helped save this charismatic little fish and it just goes to show that with the skill and expertise of conservationists, and with local communities fully invested in a reintroduction project, species can make a comeback,” said  Dr. Garcia, Curator at Chester Zoo.

Redwood forest returned

More than 500 acres of redwood forest have been returned to the Indigenous peoples living in Northern California’s Mendocino County, whose ancestors were “forcibly removed” by European American colonists and their profiteering lumber companies. By the end of the 1950s, only about ten percent of the original two-million-acre redwood range remained untouched. Today, the Sinkyone people have renamed the land Tc’ih-Léh-Dûñ, which “lets people know that it’s a sacred place,” said Sinkyone representative, Crista Ray. 

Sky Events

The full moon is on 18 March this month, known as the Worm Moon by Native Americans, because it’s a time when the ground thaws and earthworms reappear. The spring equinox occurs on 20 March at 15:24 UTC, when there will be equal amounts of day and night throughout the world.  It is known as the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and first day of winter in the South.


4 – 6 March: Spring Tides
11 – 12 March: Neap Tides
20 – 22 March: Spring Tides
26 – 27 March: Neap Tides

Andreas Kornevall is a Swedish storyteller, writer and ecologist. He is the Director of Operations for the Earth Restoration Service Charity based in the UK

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