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It’s time to discover the joy of catkins, says Erin McDaid, of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust

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Catkins are a welcome and familiar sight in our parks, gardens and countryside in late winter and spring.

A number of different tree species grow them for reproduction, but they also feed wildlife and help with tree identification too.

Hazel male catkin. Photo: Keren Young (54503197)
Hazel male catkin. Photo: Keren Young (54503197)

The name is derived from an Old Dutch word katteken, which means little cat or kitten, and reflects the similarity between the catkins and a cat’s fluffy tail.

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