SPRING has come early to the Chichester area, with lambs dotting the fields and daffodils decorating the verges.
Unseasonably warm weather has led to the usual signs that winter is on its way out arriving several months in advance.
A week-old Sussex Down lamb is now being bottle-fed in a warm shed by young Amy Page, the daughter of Goodwood’s shepherd, after being orphaned.
And Observer nature columnist Richard Williamson said he had noticed many signs of the seasons having shifted around the region.
“I saw a very unusual sighting of a red admiral butterfly on January 3 in Bignor,” he said. “They are supposed to go to the south of France in the autumn but just in the recent past they have been staying in Sussex.”
However he pointed out the incredibly harsh winter of 1947 did not start until January 23.