5 great places to see bluebells in Kent
Posted by Stephanie Rueff on 17th April 2019
You know Spring has well and truly arrived when the landscape is carpeted in bluebells.These stunning scenes can be seen in abundance in local woodlands, so we’ve put together a guide of some local beauty spots to explore, along with some tips on how to help preserve them for future generations to enjoy.
Batfold Wood, Bore Place
Bluebells are often a sign of ancient woodland, and this is certainly the case for Batfold Wood, which overlooks Bough Beech Reservoir. The wood comes under the care and stewardship of John Waller, the Bore Place Underwoodsman. John coppices the area, which means that the trees are shrubs are cut back to ground level. This is a great habitat for bluebells, and in turn for various species of butterflies and bees (an early source of nectar).
You can enjoy Batfold Wood and the view over the reservoir by downloading the blue trail or the Bore Place to Bough Beech circular walk from the Bore Place website.
Emmetts Garden, near Sevenoaks
The National Trust’s Emmetts Garden, which sits just outside Ide Hill near Sevenoaks, is well known for its hillside bluebell woodlands. The woodland is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and for this reason it needs to be treated with care. The Head Gardener at Emmetts explains that each time a bluebell is stepped on, harm is caused and ‘once damaged, they can't put food back into their bulbs, reducing their ability to produce flowers and seeds’.
The site can be very busy at weekends, so for a quieter walk try visiting Monday to Friday.
Riverhill Himalayan Gardens, Sevenoaks
Another local gem is Riverhill Himalayan Gardens, where they love bluebells so much that there is a festival to celebrate them! Pop along between 24th April and 6th May (except 29th April) to enjoy a family day out with walks, crafts and an art exhibition.
Ashenbank Wood, Cobham
The Woodland Trust are encouraging us to get out and about and find out more about the history of native English bluebells (not to be confused with Spanish bluebells). A great place to do this is at Ashenbank Wood, in Cobham – did you know that the wood is more than 400 years old? Its home to many rare fungi and some archaeological features, making for a fascinating day out.
Hurst Wood, Tunbridge Wells
Staying with the Woodland Trust, situated between Tunbridge Wells and Rusthall is Hurst Wood. Many paths go through Hurst Wood, offering walkers the opportunity to experience the chocolate-box views in a way that is not harmful to the bluebells. Did you know it takes 4-6 years for a bluebell to recover once it has been stepped on?
Spring in Kent is an excellent time to enjoy bluebells in the wild, but please do not pick or dig them up as this is illegal. Let us know what you find whilst out exploring!