You may remember my March walk in the woods of Fulwood. That was an exploratory walk discovering many green spaces, several of them managed by the Woodland Trust. My comment at the time was “What must it be like when the bluebells are out and the trees showing much more greenery?”
Well now was the time to find out. I also wanted to create a more accessible route taking in the best woods and avoiding roads as much as possible and perhaps write a small definitive guide to the chosen route.
I was weary from climbing at Kemple End yesterday, so I only wanted a short walk. The sunny afternoon was ideal for this Fulwood circuit of about 7 K.
Since my visit in March the trees have certainly greened up and most are in full leaf giving dappled lighting. Oak, Sycamore, Beech, Chestnut, Birch, Ash and Wild and Bird Cherry were all present.
The bluebells were flowering in profusion, most were English Bluebells, Hyacinthoides non-scripta, as opposed to the Spanish ones, Hyacinthoides hispanica, although some were possibly hybrids.
Here is what the NT has to say about bluebells –
It is fairly easy to tell the difference between English and Spanish bluebells, but the hybrids can be trickier as they take characteristics from both
Flower and stem. The individual bells of the native bluebell are narrow with straight sides and have petals which curl back at the edges. The stem is curved, with most of the bells hanging to one side. The bells of Spanish bluebells are more cone-shaped and their petals tend to flare rather than curl back. The stems are more upright, with bells hanging all round. Native bluebells are usually a deep blue-violet shade, while Spanish ones tend to be paler. Confusingly, both varieties can also come in white and pink.
Pollen colour. Look at the pollen inside the flower. If it’s creamy-white then the bluebell is probably native (or a hybrid). If the pollen is green or blue, it’s not native.
Scent. Native bluebells have a strong, sweet scent, which makes the woods smell amazing on a warm day. The Spanish variety has little to no scent.
Leaves. Native bluebells have relatively narrow leaves, around 1–1.5 cm wide. Spanish and hybrid bluebells tend to have much bigger leaves, around 3 cm wide.
Apart from the bluebells there were many other flowers showing themselves. I still haven’t found a decent identification app that works with my ageing phone.
Mason’s Wood is a wonderfully secluded valley, Wild Garlic pervading the air throughout.
I continued on the public footpath alongside Savick Brook to try and find a way back by Sandy Brook avoiding the busy Eastway. All routes were private and hidden behind locked gates. I tried my best and had to return to the path alongside Preston Golf Club, whose course was looking immaculate. I suppose we forget the importance of green spaes provided by golf courses in cities. Mark Twain famously said “Golf is a good walk spoilt” but now it looks like “a good ride spoilt”.
Crossing Eastway was braved, there is no obvious way without it, and I finished the walk along the delightful Sandy Brook back to Fulwood Row.
Lots of green spaces and I think I have my possible guide to them almost complete. I will post it here whenever.