Ancient bluebell woodlands at Hainford to open to the public for first time in centuries
- Credit: Archant
Spectacular ancient woodlands will be opened up to the public for the first time in centuries this weekend in time for the blossoming bluebells.
Seven miles north of Norwich, a five-acre wood at Hainford has been conserved for almost 300 years and has now become the Norfolk Bluebell Wood Burial Park.
Owners Andrew and Caroline Morton bought the plot in 2008 and felt the beauty of the carpet of bluebells should be enjoyed by the wider public.
They will welcome visitors during a series of free open days over the next two months.
'The bluebell wood is the reason we are here,' said Mr Morton. 'We want other people to enjoy the experience; share the wonderful sight and scent of a carpet of millions of bluebells. It is so calming and relaxing – it is something we think everyone should try.'
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The wood was originally part of the estate of Robert Marshan, a leading phenologist.
'He was an English naturalist and had a real passion for trees,' added Mr Morton. 'He was a founding father of phenology, which is the study of the effects of the seasons on plants and animals.
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'He planted a cedar sapling on his estate in 1747, and that is still standing today, a short distance from the Norfolk Bluebell Wood.
'When we bought the place it was landlocked, and the only way you could get to the wood was through a field.
'It is such a beautiful wood, full of millions of bluebells, and we wanted to open that up to the public. They are now coming out in full bloom for the next two weeks, and this is the jewel in the crown of what we are trying to do. It is such a beautiful, calm and tranquil place.
'At the same time we have created the Norfolk Bluebell Wood Burial Park, and there have been a few burials there already. You wouldn't guess that to look at it, because it is blended in to the natural landscape. We realised there is a need for something like that in Norfolk; people like choice and people love the countryside. We realised what we had in these beautiful surroundings is a lovely final resting place and a lasting legacy for generations.'
The bluebell wood will be open from 10am-4pm over the weekends of April 23-24 and April 30-May 1, and on May Day Bank Holiday, Monday May 2.
Visit www.norfolkbluebellwood.co.uk for further information.