Mostly about Bluebells

What is it about bluebells?DSCF1151

Around this time of the year they appear, and draw crowds of admirers. And I’m one. I look forward to seeing the bluebells and can’t wait until they make their first appearance of the year.

They are a stunning sight, whether as part of a woodland floor, or covering bare hillsides.

On Sunday we walked up to Flakebridge Wood, near to Appleby in Cumbria. A pleasant walk up Well House Lane, a quiet no through road, its own banks lined with the flowers. Flakebridge has some of the best bluebells in Cumbria and it is worth the trip if you are nearby. You can walk out the way we went, or start from Dufton, rambling through the bluebell-rich Dufton Gill on the way.

If you are in Devon, at the other end of the country, try looking at the lower banks of the River Mardle on south-east Dartmoor, or the southern slopes of Fire Beacon above Sidmouth.

Why are we so stunned by the sight of flowers? Why do we pause for a while to admire that great view across the countryside? What is it in our human make up that makes us appreciate such things?DSCF1150

I don’t have any answers. Only that life would be poorer if there were no bluebells. If they were about for much of the year, perhaps we’d take them for granted. It’s the brief glimpse that makes us admire them and miss them when they’ve gone.

So get out there into the countryside and enjoy them while you can – and fight to preserve the woodlands where they grow. The thought that future generations might not see such sights is thoroughly despairing – yet many of our ancient woodlands are under terrible threat from developers and exploiters.

Britain has lost much of its ancient woodlands – we should make sure that this destruction ends. So please support at least one group that is fighting for our countryside.

Over the next couple of weeks we are going out to seek more bluebells.

 

Published by John Bainbridge

Rambler, hillwalker, stravaiger and trespasser, access campaigner. Novelist writing historical and period crime fiction.

9 thoughts on “Mostly about Bluebells

  1. At least your camera has put them out the colour they actually are – so many digi-cameras seem to find the need to make them ‘proper blue’ when they’re not!

    Why do we like them so much? because of the way they make an absolute carpet of colour – very unusual that flowers give such a coverage. And we like flowers because we like colour – that’s the real reason for depression in winter – the lack of colour anywhere – we especially miss green. I don’t think it’s anything to do with light levels personally. I also think it’s because it’s very cold and damp here in winter too – the dampness makes it seem much colder!

    As you live around Appleby, I have a quick question for you. When I come over to do things like Cross Fell, Murton/Knock & Dufton Pikes etc, I’ll need somewhere to sleep in my car along the back lanes. Do you know of any handy pull-offs or laybys?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was amazed that the camera did the colours as it rarely does – I miss transparencies for that. There are a great many pulls offs where the lanes coming up from the Eden valley come up against the Pennines and free car parks at Murton and Dufton. The three pikes can be done (each one) in a couple of hours so you might like to just think of them as day walks. Cross Fell, we did from Dufton, which is a day walk – we extended it to do the surrounding fells as well. Next time we are going to do it from the Garrigill side, where the countryside is much wilder and the lanes are lonelier.

      Like

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