Devon woodland named best place to enjoy bluebells
- Credit: Rob Grange Photography
Bluebell woods are a breathtaking sight and the Woodland Trust has compiled a selection of some of the best sites to visit in the south west of England this spring.
The United Kingdom’s largest woodland conservation charity cares for over a thousand native woods, making it one of the most important organisations for native bluebell colonies.
Bluebells bloom in April and May before the woodland canopy closes but are sensitive plants and take at least five years to establish and colonise.
The Trust is appealing for visitors to its bluebell woods to enjoy the natural splendour this spring, while being careful not to destroy any flowers by sticking to proper paths and keeping dogs on leads.
The guidelines are part of the Woodland Trust’s Love Your Woods campaign which is encouraging people to help protect woods and nature for the future.
Visitors can play their part by following some simple advice, including staying on paths, taking dog mess and litter home and protecting wildlife by keeping dogs close and staying fire free.
Woodland Trust assistant conservation officer Sally Bavin said visitors to the charity’s numerous sites are welcome as “everyone should have the chance to enjoy the spectacular spring-time sight of a bluebell-carpeted woodland”.
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But she said it is vital we do all we can to look after bluebells for future generations.
“Bluebells are often found in ancient woodlands because large colonies take so long to establish. The early blooms provide an important source of pollen and nectar for emerging insects.
“But many ancient woodlands where bluebells were found have been destroyed over the years, so the special places which remain are extremely precious. It is vital for us to safeguard these.”
The Winner: Avon Valley Woods
A diverse mix of steep, valley-sided ancient woodland and areas of new woodland planted between 2000 and 2004, Avon Valley Woods is very special to the Woodland Trust because the older woodlands that make up the site were the Woodland Trust’s first acquisitions. Covering over 139 hectares in total, Avon Valley Woods is brimming with wildlife, stunning wild flowers and a wide variety of tree species.
There are several public footpaths in the woods, including routes alongside the River Avon and through the wilder parts of the woods. Access to the woods is mostly via the car parks.
More Bluebell Woods to Explore
- Cadora Woods, Wye Valley
- Clanger Wood, Westbury
- Duncliffe Wood, Stour Row, Shaftesbury
- Hardwick Wood
- Lineover Wood, Dowdesell