Woodland walks and bluebells near youPosted on: 20 April 2011 by Alexander Hay
To enjoy spring at its finest, find your nearest bluebell wood at Visitwoods
Carpets of shimmering blue flowers will bloom across the British Isles during April and May. It's bluebell season - the perfect time to get out and visit your nearest wood.
As well as being a beautiful environment rich in nature, numerous studies show that visiting woodland offers huge benefits for people in improving physical health and mental well-being. Woods are also fantastic places for families, children and grandparents to enjoy time outdoors together, and a great place to learn about and engage with nature.
Not sure where to go? Thanks to VisitWoods, you can find your nearest wood at the click of a mouse. VisitWoods is the UK's first interactive woodland website. It has been developed by the Woodland Trust in partnership with the National Trust, RSPB, Wildlife Trusts and the Forestry Commission and maps 14,000 publicly accessible woods across the country. Not only can you search for your nearest wood just by entering your postcode, you can also search for your nearest bluebell wood simply by ticking the bluebell symbol.
The bluebell is one of many species strongly associated with ancient woods, meaning that if you are looking at carpets of woodland bluebells it’s likely that the wood you are in is also ancient. Ancient woods are irreplaceable woodland sites that have been continuously wooded since at least 1600AD. They are the UK’s equivalent of the rainforest, home to more species than any other habitat and it’s at times like this that we are reminded of how precious they are. Bluebells are a protected species and around half of all the bluebells in the world are in the UK making bluebell woods an important part of our heritage.
There are almost 1,000 bluebell woods already identified on VisitWoods - the largest database in the UK - but if you know of one that isn't marked, why not mark it yourself? The website is fully interactive and it's easy to register. Once registered you can start building up your very own list of visited woods as well as adding content including photographs, wood descriptions and star ratings to let others know which the best woods to visit are.
You can search from a list of features to let people know what they can find when they visit a particular wood, such as bluebells, ancient trees, wetland or moorland, and even from a list of facilities such as a car park, toilets, picnic tables or disabled access.
So what are you waiting for? Go to VisitWoods and find out just how close your nearest bluebell wood is. Then all you need to do is pack a picnic, round up the family, fetch the dog or just grab your camera and go and bask in the glorious spectacle that nature treats us to each spring. It couldn't be easier.
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