We deliberately chose one of our favourite woodland walks today to see if we could spot the first signs of spring. We weren’t disappointed.

This circular walk is about 5 miles long; the route snakes down through woodland at the back of the village, across the valley and then loops up through more woodland on the way into the pretty village of Sinnington. In more normal times, we highly recommend the Fox and Hounds for a shandy before heading back. It’s a good dog walking route, as there is just one small stile and then just gates to navigate; through the woods, dogs can be let off the lead.

The walk back takes you along the river Seven and back up the hill to Appleton through “Fred’s wood”. “Fred’s Wood” was planted by Ann Procope of Skipsters Hagg Farm (the landowner) in memory of her late husband.

The bird song in the woods was a definite mark of spring on its way. We weren’t lucky enough to spot a king fisher as we headed back along the river, but it was clear from the ducks and drakes squabbling that spring was in the air.

Carpets of snowdrops were out in village gardens, spilling out into the riverbanks. On the village green there were the first crocus flowering. Catkins and green shoots of primroses and wild daffodils were starting to poke through in the sunshine.

But most excitingly of all, we saw the first wild garlic leaves starting to appear which means that the annual ritual of making wild garlic pesto is not far away. We have just one jar of it left in the fridge and we’ve been eking it out over the winter. It’s delicious on homemade pizza or on a piece of salmon.

The wild garlic plants have a way to go yet, so watch this space, and in a few weeks’ time we’ll share our recipe with you.