Walks And Walking – Best Bluebell Woods To Visit In The UK 2013
This year the Bluebell woods may not be the magical event of this year’s spring walks, as the colder weather has affected their usual growth patterns. The stems will be weaker and so may not grow to the extent where you will see their usual carpet of blue petals and enchanting scent. In fact, you may not even be able to find a really good Bluebell wood walking route until late May in their usual habitat of ancient woodlands.
Due to the further threat of pollution, urbanisation and the invasion of the Spanish bluebell varieties it won’t be too long until we won’t be able to find them at all. Mark Ballard, curator of the Forestry Commission’s National Arboretum at Westonbirt, said: “Within the next two decades it will become much rarer for people to see a native bluebell wood. They are under threat and the British landscape, however beautiful, is changing.”, as reported in the Guardian.
Ballard said the Forestry Commission was taking steps to ensure that the non-native Spanish variety was being “stamped out” on its land – in some cases almost literally. “We are digging them up where we find them and disposing of them,” he said. But he warned against members of the public taking similar action in woods close to them. “We know what we are looking for, and what to do about them. If people spot hybrids or Spanish bluebells in the wild they should tell us or the owners [of the woods].”
So, while we can still enjoy the Best Bluebell Woods To Visit In The UK 2013 here is an excellent list of the best Bluebell woods to visit that I found on the Saga website here.
North – Hackfall, Ripon, Yorkshire
Admire carpets of bluebells nestling among the historical follies and following the riverbank to the stunning waterfall at Hackfall.
North West – Sea Wood, Cumbria
Make a day of it at Sea Wood by wandering through the semi-natural ancient woodland spotting bluebells and birds returning from their winter migration before emerging on to a the shingle beach of Ulverston Sands for a beachside picnic.
East Midlands – Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire
With way-marked trails, wheelchair and pushchair friendly paths, and 20 miles of cycle routes, all of the family can enjoy exploring the bluebell display at beautiful Clumber Park.
West Midlands – Trench Wood, Worcestershire
As well as its display of butterflies, this ancient woodland is also a fantastic place to spot the many types of butterfly which flutter to life in spring.
South East – Winkworth Arboretum, Surrey
Set on a hillside with spectacular views over the lake, this arboretum is a visual treat no matter what time of year you visit. Spring is particularly beautiful with its bluebells, magnolias and other displays of spring colour.
South West – Long Wood, Somerset
Long Wood is considered to be one of the best woods to visit in Cheddar Gorge thanks to its stunning views and plentiful wildlife spotting opportunities, from buzzards to badgers and plenty in between. Three bluebell trails will guide you through the displays of these pretty flowers.
Scotland – Wood of Cree, Dumfries and Galloway
Explore Southern Scotland’s largest ancient woodland and spot some of the many birds and animals which call this wood home. The bluebell trail has a wheelchair and pushchair accessible path making the Wood of Cree suitable for the whole family.
Wales – Gaer Fawr Wood, Powys
This wood clings to the side of a hill making it a bit of a steep climb occasionally to explore but the beautiful bluebell lined trails as you go and the iron age hill fort at the top make it well worth the effort. Why not pack a picnic for a well earned treat at the summit?
Northern Ireland – Killaloo Wood, Londonderry
Killaloo Wood is considered a national treasure trove with its of network of pathways which lead you through ancient woodland filled with bluebells and allow you to discover rare purple hairstreak butterflies and enjoy the scenery of the beautiful River Faughan Valley.
For more details on each wood go to the VisitWoods website here.