EARLY signs of spring in Scotland could spell a long-term threat to the environment, experts have warned.
The “stop-start” spring so far has shown a surge in reports of snowdrops, elder buds, hazel flowering in Scotland and even frogspawn further south, according to the Woodland Trust.
But the latest cold spell could halt development of trees and plants and hit insect populations, which in turn could affect bird populations later in the spring.
The trust has collected data stretching back to the 17th century, and this shows a noticeable change in the past decade.
Dr Kate Lewthwaite said: “When I look at the long-term data – it’s really scary. The rate of change is frightening.
“Very fast change raises questions about who can adapt. Spring has been getting earlier and earlier.”
The Woodland Trust said there were 17 reports of snowdrops, in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Stirling and Dunfermline, two records of elder budburst in Glasgow and Fochabers, and two of hazel flowering in Dunoon and in Duns in the Borders.