Bluebells at Emmetts Garden

Every spring the floors of the woodland are transformed into a carpet of blue as the English native bluebells come into bloom. These delicate little flowers make a wonderful sight and are not to be missed on a visit to Emmetts Garden this spring. The bluebells are now past their best in 2018, but they'll be back again with a flourish in spring 2019.

Our woods are even a SSSI (site of special scientific interest) due to the English native bluebells that grow in them. This gives the bluebells a special protected status, making it illegal for people to pick them. As a SSSI, we can ensure our visitors enjoy the bluebells for years to come.

 

Every step counts


Did you know every damaged bluebell takes four to six years to regrow?

Each step on a bluebell causes harm. The crumpled leaves are unable to photosynthesise, starving the fragile plant of food and energy. They’re unable to survive and flower in the following years.

For Matt Scott, Head Gardener at Emmetts Garden, this is a yearly challenge.

'When you see them each year, pushing through the old leaf litter on sturdy stalks in their hundres, it's hard to believe they're actually a fragile flower' Matt explains. 'They don't like change or disturbance, preferring ancient woods where the ground has lain undisturbed for years'.

English native bluebells at Emmetts Garden
Bluebells in bloom at Emmetts Garden, a National Trust property in Kent
English native bluebells at Emmetts Garden

'Once damaged, they can't put food back into their bulbs, reducing their ability to produce flowers and seeds. You see it in popular bluebell woods where narrow tracks made by one person soon become wider. The bluebells become islands instead of the carpet we all love'.

By sticking to the paths you can help save our bluebells for others to enjoy. Remember to keep your dog on a short lead and under control so they don’t cause any damage either.


Taking photographs amongst the bluebells

It’s important to avoid accidently damaging the plants with your camera equipment, your feet or even your canine companion’s paws.

Here’s a top tip from volunteer photographer Hugh Mothersole – “By shooting from a low angle it’s easy to create the illusion that a person is sitting or standing amongst the bluebells when they are actually out of harm’s way on a footpath. Look for bends in the paths or junctions if you want flowers in the foreground as well as behind your subject”.

" Native bluebells are intrinsic to the heritage of our woodlands. It's so important that we work together to look after them for both conservation and cultural reasons."

 

Avoid the crowds

Bluebell season is very popular at Emmetts Garden and we love to see you all enjoying our special place. Carpark space however can get very strained at this time, particularly at weekends.

For a calmer experience we recommend visiting Monday-Friday.

Alternatively you can always park at nearby Toys Hill, with it's own National Trust car park and enjoy one of our walks from there. Toys Hill links up with the Emmetts Garden woodland, so you won't miss out on any of our bluebells

Bring a picnic, beat the queues

Our tea-room is only little, so it can get very busy during the bluebell season. Expect queues if you're visiting during the school holidays or at the weekend.

If it's a sunny day we recommend bringing a picnic along and dining al fresco in our meadow. 

Discover more about the English bluebells

Thank you

We couldn't do it without you

Every walk along the bluebell trail helps us to restore the woodland paths