Posted on Thursday 19th April
The attractive 50 acre site situated in the National Forest near Yoxall in Staffordshire, received over 7,000 visitors when it re-opened its magnificent bluebell woods to the public last year.
Dave Garner, co-owner of Lodge Hill Bluebells, said: “The bluebell woods looked great last year, but this year we have been able to really open up the woodland canopy, remove tangles of brambles, and let the sunlight into the woodland floor. Whole areas of bluebells are coming through where we didn’t know we had any! The views are longer through the woodland and we’ve added bird, owl and bat boxes to encourage more wildlife.
“One of the most delightful areas is very near the entrance, where we’ve created a new fairy trail. A local woodcarver is making little doors to nestle amongst the bluebells on the woodland floor – we think visitors will love it!”
A new walk has also been opened up through the woodland, to add to the extensive trails on offer last year. After a meander through the bluebells, visitors can enjoy a slice of cake at the pop-up cafe and lawn games in the Half Moon Field with plenty of space for families to spend time together. They can also buy a selection of products made as a result of the management work, including breadboards and coasters created out of the timber taken out of the woods.
Dan Small, Woodland Management Officer, NFC, said: “Woodland management is as important as planting the trees in the first place. It’s vital for the health of the woodland, the strength and longevity of the trees and the flora and fauna that live, feed and shelter in the woods, that the canopy, the woodland floor and the trees themselves are looked after. The NFC offers a woodland management grant to woodland owners throughout the 200 square miles of the Forest, and it is great to see the effect the careful and strategic work carried out by Dave Garner at Lodge Hill has had on the woodlands, not only for the benefit of public access and for the good of the tree population in the woods, but also opening up the woodland to reveal even more glorious bluebells, one of our most valued native flowers.”
Dave and his wife Charlotte open the bluebell woods as part of a busy schedule that also includes running Field & Forest Weddings. This attractive corner of the National Forest makes a unique wedding venue that provides couples with a beautiful natural setting to design their day around a woodland wedding ceremony and Tipi or vintage-style marquee reception.
Lodge Hill Bluebells opens on Friday 20 April through to Sunday 13 May, Friday – Sunday, plus Bank Holiday Monday 7 May.