Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum

Spring Colour Watch Blog: Bluebells!

Posted: April 12, 2012 at 09:08 am Author: Katrina Podlewska

Bluebells are the spring buzzword of the moment – and they are out now in Silk Wood!

Bluebells Palmer Ride

You’ll spot the odd few on the banks as you walk up Waste Drive, but it’s the paths turning off Palmer Ride where you’ll really see bluebells out in full.

Bluebells Palmer RideBluebells Palmer Ride

The best are as you turn onto the Native Tree Trail and The Link. Here you’ll find bluebells scattered amongst anemones, with a few primroses popping up for the occasion.

Bluebells The LinkAnemones The Link

Bluebells are a signifier of ancient woodland and can be found across the arboretum, but particularly in Silk Wood where records show woodland activity, such as traditional coppicing, dating back to the thirteenth century.

Until the end of May, the seasonal trail in Silk Wood is also host to an exhibition of spring meadow photography by Cotswolds photographer Barney Wilczak.

The Link

The exhibition joins up Westonbirt’s Grade I Registered Downs grassland habitat with its trees and woodland.

Snakeshead Fritillary, Fritillaria meleagris

The Downs area plays an important role in the landscape design principles of the arboretum and is thriving with native wildflowers and wildlife.

Meadow buttercup, Ranunculus Acris

The photography exhibition aims to highlight the significance of this grassland habitat to visitors on the seasonal trail. Through the Westonbirt Project, Westonbirt Arboretum is working to restore all of the Downs landscape to its original grassland state.

Superb lowland hay meadow featuring many common spotted orchids

The trail starts from Waste Gate and follows Palmer Ride and The Link, before turning down Willesley Drive.

Visitors can see images of wildlife and wildflowers found in meadow grassland – including common spotted orchids, cuckoo flower and snake’s head fritillary; mounted with descriptions of why they are central to grassland life.

Useful links

More information about spring at Westonbirt

Become a member of the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum

Find out more about Barney Wilczak’s photography and his book The Meadow