20 joys of spring

It's official: Spring is finally here. To celebrate we bring you 20 fantastic (and mostly free) delights of the season.

The joys of spring: 20 reasons to be cheerful

1. The dawn chorus
The avian choristers are tuning up

2. The sweetest scent
Bury your nose in a clump of primroses

3. The Grand National
A blissful Saturday afternoon of armchair sport with plenty of build up (April 9th)

4. The Boat Race
More of the same (March 27)

5. Soft clouds of blackthorn blossom
They illuminate even the dullest roads

6. Birds’ nests visible in still bare trees
Nature’s artistry at its best

7. Trout rising to a hawthorn fly
Dreamy chalkstream days beckon

8. Gorse blooming on moorland and coastal paths
The sharp yellow reinvigorates the watery landscape as it emerges from winter

9. Yellow brimstone butterflies
Just the sight of such a delicately beautiful creature makes the day feel warmer

10. Proper bracing weather contrasts
Hail, snow, breezes and balmy sunshine

11. Summer visitors
Swallows and swifts are always welcome

12. Animal madness
Lambs’ silly half-hour before their bedtime is hilariously comical

13. Perennial pleasures
Even the most sophisticated children are eternally fascinated by frogspawn

14. St George’s Day (April 23)
Church bells will ring out across the land

15. St George’s mushrooms
Best picked before breakfast

16. Village cricket
The most civilised of sports

17. Inhaling wild garlic
A sensory addition to the woodland walk

18. Asparagus
Needs no explanation

19. The strains of mowing
Relax and listen to someone else at work

20. Pondering whether the oak or the ash has come into leaf first
The really big question in life

** More features from Country Life