Over half the world’s population of bluebells grow in the UK. In Essex, bluebells adorn the woods from late April and bloom in a miraculous display of blue and violet carpets, replacing the yellows of daffodils that came before them.
Bluebells are a sign of ancient woodland, where generations of bluebells have once thrived. Damage can prevent the leaves from photosynthesizing, causing the plant to die back. Bluebells take between five and seven years to get established, so even minor damage can have a long-lasting impact.
Essex Wildlife Trust are encouraging people to stick to marked pathways and be mindful of where they walk, to ensure the spectacle of these delicate, bell-shaped flowers can continue for many generations to come.
To see this springtime spectacle at its best, now is the time to get outdoors and visit a bluebell wood near you. Essex Wildlife Trust manages many nature reserves that provide ideal habitat for bluebells to flourish. Now is the optimal time to visit this quintessentially British springtime scene and appreciate the vivid blues and purples erupting from the green woodlands of Essex.
Top Essex Wildlife Trust nature reserves for bluebell displays:
Pound Wood nature reserve in Thundersley
One of the largest remaining areas of ancient woodland in South East Essex, this nature reserve is an important part of the Daws Heath Living Landscape. This once-neglected wood is now managed to improve the nature reserve for wildlife, with wonderful displays of bluebells. Walk between the adjacent Tile Wood and Little Haven nature reserves and then pop into the nearby Belfairs Nature Discovery Centre for tea and cake.
Hanningfield Reservoir Nature Discovery Centre in Billericay
Have a day out with the family where you can follow ‘The Wind in the Willows’ trail through the woodland whilst admiring the wonderful display of bluebells. Afterwards, relax in the Nature Discovery Centre where you can enjoy panoramic views of the reservoir.
Shut Heath Wood nature reserve in Great Totham
Enjoy some peace and relaxation at this quiet nature reserve located just below the crest of the Great Totham Ridge. The woodland is entirely carpeted in bluebells and other spring flowers such as cuckoo flower, primrose, dog violet and bugle.
Bedfords Park Nature Discovery Centre in Havering-atte-Bower
Look out over the hustle and bustle of London whilst walking through the peaceful woodlands where large numbers of bluebells can be found. Although the Nature Discovery Centre is currently closed, the neighbouring woodland is still accessible.
Weeleyhall Wood nature reserve in Weeley
This nature reserve is one of the finest surviving woods in the Tendring area, with bluebells and yellow archangel covering half of the woodland in a sea of colours.