Sunday, 1 May 2016

Yay - bluebell time!

This is an excuse to wax lyrical about this most wondrous of annual spectacles and post lots of lovely pics. I think anyone who doesn't look forward to this time of year is a little bit odd - so much colour!

And the wonderful thing about bluebell carpets is they come accompanied with a beautiful subtle scent. I think it's brilliant that most of the UK population enjoys a good bluebell walk (my Facebook feed is chocker with pics) - especially as we have 40% of the world's population of this protected species. Good to know we don't take it for granted. However, as per usual, it is under threat from the dreaded Spanish bluebell (no scent, less intense blue, no yellow anthers, wider leaves and less droopy flower heads), which hybridises with the native one, as well as loss of the ancient woodland habitat. Although, driving around Surrey and Sussex they don't seem to be in short supply - every wooded road verge or patch of woodland was a blue carpet. You lucky people!

Last weekend, after a particularly stressful day, we managed to finally get out to Garston Wood (we go there every year - I swear I have pics of the same trees going back at least a decade!!). This RSPB reserve is usually crammed, but there was a distinct advantage to going right at the end of the day as the car park was emptier! Although the light was fading, we enjoyed a de-stressing, scented walk, marvelling at the combination of yellows (primroses still going strong - amazing!), white (wood anemone) and the bluebells.

And then this weekend, I've just got back from visiting friends in Crawley - we had a surprisingly long walk yesterday along a dismantled railway line, again with many flowers.

Today, still in wonderful sunshine, we opted for a slightly different affair and visited the Devil's Punchbowl. Here, the A3  has been undergrounded through the Hindhead tunnel, with the old road above restored to grassland and heathland. This compliments the heathland and ancient woodland mosaic. Although no bluebells (a different sort of wood), it was very atmospheric and the views were astonishing across the Surrey Hills.

We constantly said how lucky we were to live in the UK, and particularly to have such wonderful scenery on our doorsteps.

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