Bluebells coming into full bloom attract walkers to ancient woodland

Bluebells on display at Hanningfield Reservoir in Essex.
Bluebells on display at Hanningfield Reservoir in Essex. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Hundreds of people have been out walking in ancient woodlands this Bank Holiday weekend to catch a glimpse of the spectacular displays of bluebells.  

Bluebells are at their most vibrant in May with around eighty per cent in full bloom at the moment.

Visitors are being asked to stick to the paths and avoid treading on any plants. so that others can enjoy them for many years to come.

Bluebells are at their most spectacular in May. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Justin Collins, from the Essex Wildlife Trust, said: "They're an indicator of ancient woodland, so if you're surrounded by bluebells, there's a good chance you're in some really old woodland.

"We think that probably in the next few days they'll be fully out and they'll be at their best then."

The UK is home to more than half of the world's population of bluebells and more than one million bulbs can be found in just one wood.

The Essex Wildlife Trust is urging people to enjoy the bluebells without damaging them. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Bluebells are a very delicate plant and are easily damaged, especially if they're trodden on. Damage can prevent the leaves from photosynthesizing, causing the plant to die back.

Essex Wildlife Trust looks after a number of nature reserves that provide a perfect habitat for this fragile flower.

Here are a few of Essex Wildlife Trust's best nature reserves for bluebell displays this May:

  • Pound Wood in Thundersley

  • Hanningfield Reservoir Nature Discovery Park in Billericay

  • Shut Heath Wood in Great Totham

  • Bedfords Park Nature Discovery Centre in Havering-atte-Bower

Bluebells are a sign that you're walking in an ancient woodland. Credit: ITV News Anglia