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New App to Promote Bluebell Walk on North York Moors

Bluebells Photo must be credited to Mike Kipling and used only in association with this press release 010514

3:03pm 1st May 2014

A new downloadable walk on the National Park website celebrates a familiar springtime sight – the annual appearance of carpets of sweet-scented bluebells in our woodlands.

The 5-mile circular route from Grosmont to Beck Hole, in the Esk Valley, runs through shady woodland that provides perfect conditions for the common bluebell, or Hyacinthoides non-scripta. It’s a flower that’s native to western Europe, with the UK boasting more than half the world's bluebell population.

As well as providing a stunning backdrop to a springtime walk, the presence of bluebells is an important environmental indicator of ancient woodlands – ie, woodlands that are at least 400 years old. Bluebell flowers are rich in pollen and nectar, and attract bumblebees, butterflies and other insects, while in past times the bluebell was used in various folk remedies – the sap makes a natural glue, while the crushed bulbs are said to help stop wounds from bleeding.

Naomi Green, Senior Ranger with the National Park Authority, says: “Bluebells are always a welcome sign of spring and Doctor’s Wood is an enchanting place to visit when it’s filled with dazzling blue flowers. But they are sensitive to trampling, so please keep to the paths and remember not to pick wildflowers – leave the bluebells for others to enjoy.” 

The beginning of the route from Grosmont follows a newly restored path through Doctor's Wood, which is a Community Access Project delivered by the National Park Authority. Such projects involve working with people throughout the National Park to help them improve access within and between their communities. Local people are involved at every stage, from concept to completion, and the National Park Authority helps equip individual volunteers with skills to manage and improve access routes in the future.

Martyn Williams, Community Access Project Officer, comments: “It’s fantastic to see people working on routes that are important to them. The local community was fully involved in improving the path in Doctor’s Wood, from clearing scrub to raking stones, and they’ll enjoy the benefits of their labours for many years to come.”

You can find the ‘Grosmont to Beck Hole’ walk, and download the route guide for free, at www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/walking

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