December 2022/January 2023 update


December 2022/January 2023 update


Arlington Bluebell Walk

Further to writing last month about the reasons why we will be open for only four weeks instead of the usual five this year, I can now confirm the dates:

We open on Tuesday 11th April and close on Wednesday 10th May.

17 charities will be involved during that time, as listed on the website.

2023 is a significant year, as it will be the 50th Bluebell Walk held since 1972. Those mathematicians among you will calculate that I am two years out, but in 2001 we did not open due to the Foot & Mouth epidemic when all public footpaths were closed, then of course in 2020 Covid struck!

Each year I try to ensure something new and practical has been achieved. Last year we insulated the Bluebell Barn and this year I am endeavouring to set up a wild bird feeding station adjacent to Bates Green Garden, with a large screen within the Bluebell Barn hopefully relaying the birds busy feeding. I believe it is important, especially for our regular visitors, who will notice improvements, many small but significant, that we continuously try to enhance the experience of visiting the Bluebell Walk.


Beatons Wood

This is an image of the first bluebell plant I saw on Boxing Day. It just shows how global warming is changing our expectation of what we might see in December!   First bluebell


What a peaceful scene at the Lower Pond at the beginning of the month.   The cold was very much on the surface, as this image shows how the warmer drainage water is melting the ice!
Frozen pond   Thawing pond


I am surprised how a few smaller trees in not particularly sheltered areas have retained their leaves, in spite of all the wind and gales that quickly strip bare those other trees in our wood.   Leaves still on tree


John McCutchan




We always like to start the calendar year off with a Winter Warming job and what could be nicer than a spot of pruning? Next to the Wild Garden there is an avenue of Corylus avellana that Carolyn planted to commemorate the Millennium. These have grown beautifully and provide shade and coolness over the summer months. They also give us a bountiful harvest of pea sticks and posts that come in very handy for plant supports and general jobs around the Garden.

These sturdy shrubs are giving our WRAGS student, Alex, the chance to fine tune her pruning skills before she progresses onto the ornamental shrubs which proliferate throughout the garden. Our tripod ladder is light yet sturdy and I highly recommend it.   Pruning hazel


After removing one third of the oldest or most misplaced stems, the hazel then receives a thick mulch of homemade compost to finish the job to perfection.   Pruned hazel


The Garden Team are absolutely delighted to be awarded RHS Partner Garden status which I feel will certainly keep us on our toes throughout the season. Like all your gardens I imagine, Bates Green Garden is currently extremely wet, which precludes any border work. I am pleased to say that there is a stout wind blowing as I write this and I am hopeful that we can continue clearing, cutting back and mulching before too long. These stalwart snowdrops are emerging regardless.   Snowdrops


We would like to wish you a joyful 2023 with perfect gardening weather.


Emma Reece - Head Gardener


Planning for 2023.

The Arlington Bluebell Walk has raised over one million pounds during the past 50 years by inviting specific charities to provide refreshments and manage the administration of the visitors every day for the duration of the event. John would now like to extend this successful fundraising model to Bates Green Garden and is now inviting charities to apply for this fantastic opportunity.

Every Wednesday when the Garden is open we would make a payment to a local charity, who would provide light refreshments and assist the Garden Team in welcoming our visitors.

Do you know of any charity that would be interested in this opportunity? If so, please email with contact details.



Arlington Bluebell Walk and Farm Trails -

Bates Green Garden -







This message was added on Sunday 15th January 2023

Feel free to leave a comment

All comments will be reviewed and may not be published

If you have a general question please use the 'contact us' form