WITH each day getting slightly warmer, we can now start rooting through the undergrowth for new woodland flowers.

The crocuses and snowdrops may still be around, but these winter flowers will soon disappear and the colourful plants of spring are going to start their annual battle for space, pollinators and sunlight.

Some plants have already put their first flowers out.

One of the hardiest small plants in the woodland is Herb Roberts, below. This little survivor has leaves that look very similar to the fronds of ferns and can often be found with red stems.

Herb Roberts is adapted to survive in tough places with few roots to grow into the ground. It can therefore grow with the smallest amounts of soil.

The small pink flowers it grows normally appear from April onwards, but some have already been spotted this month.

Another small flower found at this time is the yellow Wood Avens.

This is a common plant in shady wooded areas and can be easily identified by five, yellow petals that have a clear gap separating them from each other. The snaking stem wraps itself around larger trees to gather as much sunlight as possible.

Woodland flowers are often small and can be easily overlooked.

It’s always worth checking what is growing around fallen trees or woodland clearings.

The break in the canopy here means it’s a great place to hunt out these colourful plants as there is more sunlight for them to produce their food.

Although many of us are looking forward to the warmer days of summer, once the larger trees are covered in leaves again, life for these delicate plants becomes much tougher and getting enough sunlight will be a serious task.

n You can find out more about woodland flowers and how you could get involved at Russ’ website naturetalksandwalks.co.uk