Discover bluebells in the Chilterns Countryside
There’s nothing more enchanting than stumbling across a vibrant carpet of woodland bluebells. There are many places in the Chiltern Hills where bluebells flourish and they are at their best between mid-April and mid-May. Discover some beautiful Chiltern bluebells for yourself on one of our online / downloadable walks.
Bluebells are well-known for forming carpets of bright blue flowers beneath our oak and beech woodlands in the late spring. At this time of year, they can also be found along hedgerows and in woodland clearings. Their spectacular floral displays are exclusive to northern Europe, with Britain containing more than half of the world’s population of bluebells.
Bluebells, which are inedible members of the asparagus family of plants, are perennial bulbous herbs with flowering stems to about 50cm tall. They spend most of the year as bulbs underground and emerge to flower from mid-April onwards, although they are usually at their peak in the first two weeks of May, depending on the spring weather. Up to twenty sweetly-scented flowers are borne on a flower stalk which droops to one side. The flowers are bell-shaped and although they are usually blue, they can be white or rarely pink.
Help us to protect our bluebells
The common bluebell (hyacinthoides non-scripta) is a protected species in the UK and the main threats to their survival is people picking the flowers and illegally digging up the bulbs. Hybridisation is another threat, which occurs when common bluebells cross with their closely related cousins from Spain (hyacinthoides hispanica), which have been introduced to the UK as ornamental garden plants. When visiting bluebells on National Trust land, we kindly ask you not to touch the plants and to keep to the defined footpaths to avoid accidental damage.
To discover bluebells for yourself, try one of the following downloadable walks in mid to late May.