New life buzzes from all directions: why Pembrokeshire in spring is a nature-lover’s dream

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South-west Wales is a naturalist’s playground, and early spring is the perfect time to explore its coastal paths, wild flowers and treasured birdlife

Edward Thomas’s In Pursuit of Spring, published more than a century ago, is a classic in the nature lover’s library, a lyrical account of the poet’s journey from London to Somerset seeking signs of the coming season. Setting out from a rainy Wandsworth in March 1913, shaking loose a long winter, Thomas yearned for apple blossom and cuckoo flowers, “the perfume of sunny earth”, and the nightingale’s song. “Would the bees be heard instead of the wind?” he questioned anxiously.

This was a relatable pursuit – come March we are all leaning towards the sun – yet rarely might we think of spring as a “place”. For Thomas, it was the rural south-west; for me, the returning spring is best embodied by Pembrokeshire.

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