A very special late April / early May walk, through bluebell woods and garlic valleys. Starting and ending at The Owl; our friendly local, with plenty of easy parking. The route passes through beautiful ancient woodlands, and crosses open fields which are likely to offer encounters with a variety of animals – miniature ponies, mellow cows, handsome horses and, of course, ubiquitous flocks of sheep.
Wild garlic flowers a little later than Bluebells. Their pungent smell, though, is a tell tale sign that the woodland floor is soon to be carpeted with starry white heads.
The first wood, pictured above, opens out to a picturesque lake on farmland just beyond The Owl. A peaceful spot to sit and reflect. Or simply enjoy the reflections as passing by!
Passing through several farms, there may be close encounters with a variety of four legged friends!
Worryingly, early bees do not seem to be in such abundance this year as last. A reminder to leave the pesticides well alone, & allow grass to grow longer – we’re in ‘No Mow May’ just now, according to Plantlife!
This plump bee, transfixed by her chosen bluebell, was a welcome sight and posed patiently for the camera!
The mass of wild garlic in the image above will follow on from the bluebells; the full impact of their familiar, heady scent filling the wood in a week or two.
In lighter ground to the edge of the woodland, early flowering garlic mingles with their dainty blue cousins.
The depth of the vegetation underfoot illustrates how important ancient woodland is. It takes hundreds of years to create the irreplaceable, complex habitat that it provides.
The years of decayed matter, and multitude of organisms that live within it can not be replaced instantly by simply planting new trees. Something to think about when considering projects such as HS2.