Mornings are getting gradually lighter, days are growing longer and the weather is getting (slightly) more pleasant.
The evolving days suggest Spring is about to arrive, and in turn, the clocks are set to change.
The UK is currently operating on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which means the next time the clocks change, they go forward and we will move into British Summer Time (BST).
Do clocks go forward this weekend?
The clocks always go forward on the final Sunday of March, which means in 2023 they will change on Sunday 26 March – a day earlier than last year.
By switching to BST we will get more daylight in the evening, but sadly your Sunday morning lie-in will be cut short by an hour.
In autumn, the clocks always go back again on the final Sunday of October, which means this year they will change on 29 October.
This signals the end of BST, or Daylight Saving Time (DST), and means the UK reverts to GMT until the spring, the standard time zone against which all others in the world are referenced.
That change gives us an extra precious hour of daylight in the dark autumn and winter months, with the added bonus of an extra hour in bed on the autumn morning when the clocks change.
Why does the UK have British Summer Time?
Initially, the clocks were changed to save energy. Why waste electricity when there is perfectly good daylight to be used?
The campaign for British Summer Time came about at the beginning of the 20th century. Moving the clocks forward in the summer months gives us darker mornings but lighter, longer evenings.
The idea was proposed in Britain by builder William Willett, says Dr Richard Dunn, senior curator for the history of science at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.
Willett was “incensed at the ‘waste’ of useful daylight during the summer. Though the sun had been up for hours as he rode his horse through Chislehurst and Petts Wood, people were still asleep in bed”.
British Summer Time was adopted in Britain in 1916 to save fuel and money.
Since then, Britain toyed with moving the clocks a number of times, including bringing them forward two hours ahead of GMT during the Second World War. They were also brought forward for periods in the spring of 1947, in line with fuel shortages.
There was an experiment, between 1968 and 1971, which kept clocks one hour ahead of GMT all year round.
Britain then reverted to our now familiar system of GMT in the winter and summer time between March and October.
In recent years, there have been renewed calls to scrap the changing of clocks, which critics say hits productivity and can lead to a spike in accidents by disrupting sleep cycles. However, the movement to scrap daylight saving time is itself divided between those who would prefer year-round GMT and brighter mornings, or year-round BST and brighter evenings – preventing any move towards a solution.