We don’t like to keep our best spots a secret which is why our Forest Rangers are always on hand to guide you around our locations. We spoke to our Forest Ranger, David Read, at Blackwood Forest to find out how you can make the most of a bluebell walk. Just in time for spring.
David says: "The bluebells are at their peak in spring and at Blackwood Forest, the forest floor can often feel like a sea of shimmering blue. Our country is home to over half of the world’s bluebells which is why many of us have a special connection with them."
"Seeing bluebells is reminiscent of ancient and deciduous woodland and they’re actually nicknamed 'fairy flowers' which gives them a magical connotation. Bluebell walks at Blackwood Forest are definitely one of our most popular spring activities."
Experience the bluebells at Blackwood Forest
If you're looking to explore a bluebell forest these can be discovered across the UK, but the one at Blackwood Forest has a reputation for being particularly abundant.
David says: "Bluebells are commonly found beneath beech trees - such as those in Blackwood Forest. Their young shoots can penetrate the thick layer of beech leaf litter and they can flower and pollinate before the dense beech canopy closes off the light. This explains their brief appearance at the end of April and into May, flowering before the tree buds burst into leaf."
Close up of bluebells
At Blackwood Forest you’ll be able to see different types of bluebells. Our Forest Rangers are usually around to help you identify them but David has a few pointers.
He says: "British bluebells are a vibrant violet-blue colour with gently nodding flowers branching out from one side of the main stem. The petals curve back on themselves and the pollen is white."
"Spanish bluebells are paler flowers which radiate from both sides of the upright stem. The petals are less curved and the pollen is blue. While they do threaten our native bluebells they’re beautiful in their own way. But I often describe them as a pale imitation of their British cousin."
Spanish bluebell in Hampshire
Heading out on a walk in a bluebell wood isn’t just about absorbing the beauty of bluebells. You’ll also be able to feast your eyes on all the wildlife waking up after their winter sleep.
David says: "Bluebells attract wildlife and you’ll often see bees ‘stealing’ pollen from them by biting a hole in the bottom of the bell and taking the nectar without pollinating the flower. I think of bluebells as one of nature’s miracles. In the process of survival and growth they provide us with a natural spectacle to fill us with awe and delight."
Native English bluebells
A short hot tub getaway in spring is the perfect way to recharge and connect with nature at the start of a new season and with a blanket of bluebells waiting for you at Blackwood Forest there’s no better time to book your pet friendly woodland cabin break! Another option is to explore the Forest of Dean bluebells in Gloucestershire.
Carpet of bluebells in Hampshire
Bluebells are usually out in springtime, depending on the weather. If the weather is mild they tend to bloom earlier. They often appear in the South West of the UK first due to the warmer climate.
Bluebell season ranges from April through to May.
Bluebells usually flower from mid-April to late May.
Timing is essential when trying to catch a glimpse of bluebells in their peak. They tend to be best at the end of the flowering season in late April early May, but there is a short window between endless carpets of blue from the fading green of setting seeds.