What is Spring?
Spring is a season. There are four seasons in a year, spring, summer, autumn and winter. Each season is marked by different weather and hours of daylight.
We have seasons because the earth takes a year to move round the sun, which gives us light and warmth, and because the earth tilts at an angle of 23.5 degrees. In winter we tilt away from the sun and in the summer we tilt further towards the sun. However, on the first day of spring the sun shines equally on both the north and south hemispheres of the Earth.
When is Spring?
In the United Kingdom, and the rest of earth’s northern hemisphere, the first day of spring is on 20 March. On the first day of spring the number of hours of daylight and night are the same, so there are 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. This is known as Spring Equinox.
This is because the sun shines directly over the equator, which is an imaginary line that divides the earth, half way in between the North Pole and South Pole.
Did you know?
The work equinox is derived from Latin ‘equi’ (meaning equal) and ‘nox’ (meaning night)
What happens in Spring?
From 20 March onwards in the northern hemisphere, the hours of daylight get longer and longer until summer, when you will notice that it is still light at bedtime. So when summer begins on 21 June there are over 16 hours of daylight and under 8 hours of darkness.
The reason for the days getting longer is because our country (the United Kingdom), along with others in the northern hemisphere is tilting more and more towards the sun. As the sun’s rays reach us more directly the days get warmer as well as longer.
Why do plants begin to grow in spring?
Plants need water, light, warmth and soil or compost to grow. During spring they get the conditions they need to begin to grow. The showery weather gives them the water they need. The longer days mean they have more daylight and warmth from the Sun which raises the temperature of both air and soil.
Experience spring in the forest with the Forestry Commission
The Met Office provides some interesting information and facts about Spring. Enjoy the lighter days from 20th March and fingers crossed for sunny ones too!
WWF’s Earth Hour is an annual global celebration where people switch off their lights for one hour to show they care about the future of our planet. This year Earth Hour is taking place on Saturday 25th March at 8:30pm – an opportunity to enjoy a candlelit evening with your family.