Alterations & additions for 2016
The Arlington Bluebell Walk steadily evolves each year, from what our visitors write in the comment cards, what they tell us face to face, plus other things we note, so by the time each Bluebell Walk closes we have a long list of suggestions! We then try and implement as many as can practically be undertaken, and the following lists what our visitors will see and hopefully benefit from this year.
The Photographic Competition winning entries of 2015
They are now displayed in the Bluebell Barn, so they can be viewed in a relatively warmer environment, than previously seen in the Animal Barn. They have been prepared and mounted by a regular visitor who wanted to generously contribute his expertise in helping the Bluebell Walk, so we are most grateful for his help.
The Sun Terrace has been extended
This sitting area has proved to be very popular for enjoying refreshments bought from the Bluebell Barn, especially on warmer days hence its name! By extending the perimeter fence gives more room for extra tables and chairs, provides more shady areas plus gives a good view of the Millennium Glade and entrance to Beatons Wood.
New pathway leading to The Gate House
We now have a concrete pathway with a handrail which starts adjacent to the toilet for the disabled, leading up towards The Gate House, so allowing those with wheelchairs and buggies with the small wheels to have a smoother surface to negotiate that slight incline.
On the outside of the Bluebell Barn we now have our logo and an arrow directing new visitors to The Gate House. Various notices highlighting the Children’s Quiz, Photographic Competition, How to join The Friends of Arlington Bluebell Walk, the Certificate from VisitEngland awarding us the Hidden Gem accolade and our membership of Tourism South East are erected on the Bluebell Barn wall and the new pathway to the Gate House. This was suggested by the Inspector from VisitEngland last year, when all aspects of the Bluebell Walk were assessed.
The Gate House
We now have now mounted three large photos on the front: One depicts the Wood full of the white wood anemones against the backdrop of the green leaves of the emerging bluebells: Two shows the transformation of the woodland floor from all white and green by the addition of blue as the first flush of bluebell flowers emerge: The third one shows the Wood a dense mass of blue with the bluebells in their full glory.
Coppicing in Beatons Wood
Is the traditional way of managing a wood such as ours, which has dominate oak trees and between them grow a mass of hornbeam, which were originally planted for the production of charcoal needed for iron smelting prevalent in the area. Hornbeam has the ability after being cut, to grow new shoots which develop back into tall trees, and after about 20 years they get cut down again to repeat the cycle. About every three years we coppice small areas to allow ample light back onto the woodland floor which strengthens the bluebells and wood anemones, so next year they grow back invigorated. This year we have coppiced three areas, but you will have to wait until 2017 to see the effect it has made to the bluebells!
Next Friday I will outline how we try to assist those visitors who have mobility problems, so they too are able to enjoy Beatons Wood and see close up the white wood anemones or bluebells, dependent on which are in flower.
We have only just seen our first bluebell this year, so want to share it with you!
This message was added on Friday 11th March 2016
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