Nature lovers encouraged to go out and spot bluebells this weekend

Nature lovers encouraged to go out and spot bluebells this weekend

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We have been enjoying carpets of daffodils for several weeks now, but the time is almost upon us for another of spring's great displays to arrive - the blaze of bluebells in woodland rides up and down the country.

The Wildlife Trusts are encouraging nature lovers to get out and about this weekend (April 25th and 26th) for their annual Woodland Wildlife Weekend, which celebrates bluebell woods and the creatures they attract, as well as the habitats in general.

Bulbs will be bursting into life around now and the impact of seeing their blue-purple flowers en masse is spectacularly beautiful, so heading to one of the Wildlife Trust properties with the whole family could be a great outdoor activity that gets everyone enthused about nature.

Among the places you can go to see bluebells include Prior's Wood in Avon, Cumbria Wildlife Trust's Barkbooth Lot, Durham's Baal Hill Wood and Siccaridge Wood in Gloucestershire.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of available locations, so it's worth having a look at the website and seeing where there is to visit near you.

The Wildlife Trusts' director in England Stephen Trotter said: "Bluebell carpets alone are one the UK’s most special wildlife spectacles. And they come hand in hand with a profusion of other spring wildflowers such as wood anemones, ramsons and celandine, along with busy birds building nests and forming partnership bonds."

Indeed, the birds you might see or hear include the Chiffchaff and the Blackcap, as well as the Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Wood Warbler and Pied Flycatcher.

Remember that it is illegal to take flowers or bulbs from the wild, but you can plant bluebell bulbs in dappled areas of your own gardens to attract birds and insects.

Always check they are native species from cultivated stock (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) to avoid introducing foreign varieties such as the Spanish bluebell, which is very invasive.

They should flower especially well under deciduous trees like the beech.