Spring has sprung across Bradford with sunny days and blue skies – but the second half of last March was marked by a fierce winter blast.

Temperatures today are expected to peak at 14 degrees centigrade but the memories of blizzard conditions last March are still enough to put a chill up people's spines.

Days of heavy snow and sub zero temperatures brought road chaos and forced cancellations of a Bradford City match and the Bradford 10k run which was delayed until April.

More than 170 schools were shut and springtime sledging was proving a popular alternative to lessons.

Flights were disrupted at Leeds-Bradford International Airport and Bradford Council gritters were out in force towards the end of March.

March 21 is the first day of spring but signs are it has arrived here with floral displays in city parks.

Janet Palframan, secretary of Heaton Woods Trust, said: “The daffodils are coming into full bloom, we’ve had six ducks on the pond, there’s lots of frogspawn early and the bluebells are just starting to show themselves.

“It’s still a bit boggy under foot but thanks to the sunshine it’s drying out.”

City centre workers have been heading for City Park and its fountains, families have been gathering for a splash in the waters and tables outside bars and cafes have been busy.

Skimboarder Marius Cote, 21, was entertaining crowds yesterday when he turned up to perform a few stunts in the water. The mechanical engineering student who was taking a break in the sun from studies at Bradford University, said: “The pool is Bradford’s next best thing to the sea – it always amazes people when they see me here on my board. I come down whenever I can.”

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, the Council’s executive member for tourism, said: “Our tourism people are getting lots of enquiries from visitors.”

The forecast over the next few days is predicting light cloud and a slight cooling in temperatures tomorrow but rising again on Saturday.