Where to hear nightingales sing this spring

Nightingales are nature’s most lauded songsters. Their wonderful warbling has inspired musicians and poets – including Messrs Shakespeare and Beethoven – for centuries. Visit Highnam Woods, Gloucestershire this month, and you too could enjoy these revered soloists.

Sadly, these tuneful birds are in steep decline: nightingale numbers have fallen by a shocking 90% over the last 50 years and there is estimated to be only 5,500 singing males remaining.

So, head to the RSPB reserve at Highnam Woods, near Gloucester, on an evening in May to hear them while you still can.

Listen for the powerful and remarkably rich serenades from the male birds as they attempt to attract potential partners passing through this patch of ancient woodland.

Female nightingales will only pick the classiest singer as their mate, so males have developed over 300 different love songs in their attempts to impress the ladies.

Follow the marked trail from the reserve entrance or go to the website for information on guided walks rspb.org.uk/highnamwoods