As Spring starts to arrive we have a look at some of the best bluebell walks in West Berkshire .
Bluebell Walks in West Berkshire
Bluebells under threat
Loss of habitat, climate change and, above all, the continuing spread of the invasive Spanish bluebell mean that our native bluebell is under real threat. The Spanish bluebell was introduced to British gardens many years ago, but escaped and cross-bred with the UK’s native variety. The resulting hybrid plants tend to be more vigorous and can quickly take hold in woodland, resulting in the pure English variety, with its beautiful scent and intense colour, being squeezed out.
Native bluebells have a strong sweet scent and intense violet-blue flowers that droop down like a bell along one side of the stem.
The Spanish bluebell is a paler blue and is more upright with flowers on both sides of the stem and little scent.
We can all play our part in helping to protect these iconic plants. When visiting bluebell woods please take care to leave them undamaged for others to appreciate their unique beauty.
Bluebell Fun Facts
Did you know that in the Bronze Age, bluebell sap was used to attach feathers to arrows and has also been used to bind pages in the spines of books? The bluebell is a symbol of constancy and may be the origin of the tradition that a bride should wear ‘something blue’ on her wedding day.