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Where to find Bluebells near Lymington and the New Forest

Where to find Bluebells near Lymington and the New Forest.

The evocative scent and vivid colour of Bluebells make them a highlight of springtime.

Bluebells 2014Britain's favourite wildflower blooms from mid-April to early May and is a precious part of our national heritage - bluebells don’t grow wild anywhere else in Europe and almost half of the world’s bluebells can be found in the UK, they’re relatively rare in the rest of the world. See more below!

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About Bluebells 

With thanks to Jaqui, owner of the wonderful Red Shoot Camping Park, for the history which follows!

"The ancient woodlands of the New Forest come to life in mid-April with carpets of blue, indigo and purple bluebells and their heady scent fills the air.  These magical flowers are an ancient woodland indicator species, protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 making it illegal to pick, uproot or destroy them.  They hold a very special place in the hearts of British people and with that in mind, we thought you might like to know a little bit about them and where best to see them in the New Forest.

It is estimated that over half of the world's population of bluebells grow in Britain creating incredible carpets of gorgeous blue but they can also be found in white or shades of pink. Bluebells tend to like woodland areas, so the 34 square kms of broad-leaved inclosures in the New Forest are the perfect place to spot them.  By flowering early, bluebells can maximise on the sunlight before the trees in the canopy above have developed leaves and are an important early source of nectar for many species of invertebrate including bees, hoverflies and butterflies.

Throughout English folklore bluebells have been given many nicknames including 'witches thimbles', 'ladies nightcaps', 'cuckoo’s boots' and 'dead men’s bells'.  Their beauty is captivating and their nature mysterious and the fact that they thrive in the shadows, in places that few choose to tread, just goes to strengthen the belief that they are imbued with fairy magic.  It is said that fairies ring the bell-shaped flowers to summon their kin to gathering, but if a mortal hears this, the fairy enchantment can be fatal! 

Bluebells have had practical uses throughout the ages, Bronze Age people used the sap to set feathers upon arrows and the bulbs were crushed to provide starch for the ruffs of Elizabethan collars and sleeves.  According to ancient tales, monks from the 13th century believed in the healing powers of bluebells, using them to treat snakebites and leprosy despite the bulb's toxic nature. In modern times, scientists are exploring the bluebell's strong repellent properties against animals and insects. Some researchers even speculate that extracts from bluebells could potentially be utilised in the fight against serious diseases like HIV and cancer."

With thanks as above to Jaqui!

Go on a Bluebell Hunt!

Here in the New Forest, we have some of the most stunning bluebell woods; the flowers love the damp, shady conditions of our ancient woodland.

We wholeheartedly recommend braving the showers and heading out for a bluebell walk this springtime. We love exploring bluebell woods and here are a few suggestions on where to find bluebells near Lymington and in the New Forest area...

Please bear in mind though, that bluebell colonies take a long time to establish, around 5-7 years from seed to flower. It is against the law to intentionally pick, uproot or destroy bluebells. Try to avoid stepping on bluebells, they can take years to recover after footfall damage. If a bluebell’s leaves are crushed, they die back from lack of food as the leaves cannot photosynthesise.

Roydon Woods - near Brockenhurst

Roydon Woods is owned by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and this patchwork of ancient woodland, heaths, grasslands and streams is a sea of bluebells in spring. Roydon Woods is 1¼ miles southeast of Brockenhurst and the main entrance is at Setley. Wellies or walking boots are advisable as the paths can get rather muddy! Find out more about Roydon Woods here.

Bluebells Pondhead May 2017Pondhead Inclosure - near Lyndhurst

Pondhead is listed by the Forestry Commission as one of its top 10 Bluebell Woods in the UK. Bluebells transform the woodland floor into a dazzling lake of shimmering blue in this well-fenced, natural enclosure which is protected from wild deer and ponies. 

Bank - near Lyndhurst

The cycle route from Brockenhurst to Bank is a delightful, shady haven for bluebells - what better excuse for a bike ride in the forest?!

Exbury Gardens

There's plenty to see at these glorious 200-acre gardens, with woodland, parkland, ponds, twenty miles of pathways and the famous Rothschild collection of rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias. You'll find many areas of bluebells around the site, but Gilbury Lane Garden is the place to find stunning carpets of blue. Admission charges apply. Find out more about Exbury Gardens.

Royden Woods bluebells April18Furzey Gardens

The gardens were established in 1922 and focus on flowering shrubs and bulbs planted for year-round colour, with plants gathered from all over the world. Spring brings out azaleas and Chilean fire trees, along with carpets of snowdrops, crocus, bluebells, and daffodils. Part of the Minstead Trust, Furzey Gardens is a social enterprise supporting people with learning disabilities.

Broomy Inclosure - near Linwood

Broomy Inclosure is covered with stunning carpets of bluebells each spring. The woodland is in Linwood, New Forest, located just past the High Corner Inn.

Sandleheath - near Fordingbridge

This pretty village has many footpaths giving access to the local countryside. Many go through or are bordered by woods which are full of primroses and bluebells in spring and early summer.

Royden Woods Bluebells April 2018 

 

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