You can have a mindful walk in any woodland, but a bluebell wood is one of the sights of spring that never fails to bring joy. About half the world’s population of bluebells (hyacinthoides) grow in the UK; they love our ancient woodland, where the ground has been undisturbed for many years. Never be tempted to pick wild bluebells down to the root – they take five years to grow from seed into bulb and native bluebells are a protected species in the UK.
If planting bluebells, make sure they are natives (var. non scripta), as they’re under threat from their interloper cousins. Bluebells flower from early April, before the trees come into full leaf and the sunlight from the woodland floor.
Find your nearest wood at woodlandtrust.org.uk. Join its Big Bluebell Watch by recording your sightings and help to monitor the status of UK bluebells.
Turn to page 76 for more on our walk in the woods feature.