Posted 3rd Feb 2017
Visiting a bluebell wood is one of the UK's great seasonal highlights and there are hundreds for you to visit across the length and breadth of the UK
A carpet of native bluebells acts as a great indicator of ancient woodland, which is one of the rarest and most irreplaceable habitats in the country, yet cover just two per cent of the landmass. It's very important to preserve the flora and fauna within, so the Woodland Trust is asking visitors to bluebell woods to stick to marked trails, in the process avoiding trampling bluebells.
This year the Trust is asking to people to help them learn where native and non-native bluebells are across the country. In turn, this will help us to understand the range and type of bluebells present in the UK.
10 of the Woodland Trust's best bluebell woods across the UK:
Hucking Estate; Maidstone, Kent
This 580 acres site in the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty offers a combination of ancient woodland, planted secondary woodland and open grassland; together with woodland archaeology remains, wonderful walks, interesting wildlife and breath-taking views.
Priestley Wood; Needham Market, Suffolk
Considered to be one of Suffolk's finest woods for plant life, Priestley Wood includes hornbeam and the rarest of all native trees, the wild pear. Plant life includes several species of orchid and if you're lucky, you could hear the song of the nightingale.
Bramingham Wood; Luton, Bedfordshire
This ancient woodland sanctuary in an urban environment features a network of paths. Narrow and winding, each leads to new discoveries including ponds, several native fungi species not found anywhere else in Britain. Stout footwear is recommended.
Clanger & Picket Woods; Westburt, Wiltshire
Clanger, Picket and Round Woods are designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to the varied butterfly and moth populations. Many paths lead off the main ride into cleared glades where you can find bluebells thriving in spring.
Hardwick Wood; Plymouth, Devon
This ancient woodland site is dominated by broadleaf trees. In spring, you can enjoy a superb show of bluebell, random and campion flowers, along with a network of green rides and narrow paths criss-cross the site, providing a variety of routes to explore.
Sea Wood; Ulverston, Cumbria
Visit a wood and the seaside! Sea Wood is situated against the north west shore of Morecombe Bay and is edged by the shingle beach at Ulverston Sands. At one time large oak timbers from the site were floated at high tide to ship builders in Ulverston.
Nidd Gorge; Harrogate, Yorkshire
Nidd Gorge woodland clings to the sides of a dramatic ravine with its patchwork of habitats supporting a wealth of wildlife and flora. With relics of an intriguing history dating back to the Iron Age, there's a thrilling adventure trail to keep kids occupied for hours.
Drumnaph Wood, Northern Ireland
At the gateway to the Sperrin Hills, this beautiful and ancient woodland is a precious jewel, remaining one of the few fragments of a great forest that once covered much of mid-Ulster. Take the chance to walk through flower-rich woods or spotting Irish hares in the rush meadows.
Coed Cefn, Crickhowell, Wales
Dominated by a canopy of oak and beech and ground flora including bluebells. This ancient woodland site with an Iron Age hilltop fort alongside dry stone walls and hedge boundary incorporates a historical angle to your woodland enjoyment.
Urquhart Bay; Drumnadrochit, Scotland
On the banks of Loch Ness, Urquhart Bay is one of the best examples of surviving ancient wet woodland in Europe. Tree species include alder, ash, bird cherry and white willow. Footpaths form a rough figure of eight through the city of the wood.
Images courtesy of Woodland Trust