New Nature Writing - Four Talks For Spring

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0120070409

Cranes are the tallest, have the longest wingspan and the loudest voice of any bird in Britain.

When a handful returned to breed in the Norfolk Broads in the 1980s they were the first to do so since the reign of Henry VIII.

Mark Cocker explores how it has become the presiding spirit in its new East Anglian home.

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If you want to observe the hedgerow and watch the landscape change, there's no better way of doing it than by bicycle.

And, if you're lucky, not all the wildlife will be roadkill.

Matt Seaton cycles into spring.

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Kathleen Jamie watches a black grouse lek in Scotland.

The strange sex dance of the males in front of watching females takes place on a heather moor at dawn in early spring.

The first curlews are calling and a magnificent peaceable assembly of 400 stags have gathered in the secluded glen, their antlers shining in the spring sunshine.

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After a long, grey, mostly damp winter of gazing at the sky and waiting for the weather to change, most of us long for an early spring, and a chance to look back to the earth, to new growth, colour and warmth.

It's a tempting prospect, but nature abhors hurry almost as much as a vacuum, and we should be careful what we wish for.

John Burnside waits for spring.