A comparison of past and present phenological data is a useful tool to determine changes in the timing of various nature events, such as the first flowering Wood Anemone or the return of Redwings. Tim Sparks, Lorienne Whittle, and Judith Garforth compare a number of phenology datasets, including the dates recorded by Gilbert White, to highlight some of these significant differences.
Gilbert White, born on 18th July 1720, famously authored The Natural History of Selborne. First published in 1789, this book achieved great literary fame; it remains in print and has been published in numerous editions. White recorded the phenological events that occurred in his garden and around his home at Selborne, in east Hampshire.