Bluebell walk opens early after wet winter in Arlington

Bluebell walk opening, Arlington.
John McCutchan and daughter, Phillipa and Geoff Rowe. SUS-140414-102800001

Bluebell walk opening, Arlington. John McCutchan and daughter, Phillipa and Geoff Rowe. SUS-140414-102800001

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Hailsham town crier Geoff Rowe formally opened the Arlington Bluebell Walk last week.

At the opening on Thursday (April 10) he read Emily Bronte’s bluebell poem and led a toast to spring 2014.

The Arlington Bluebell Walk, which takes in three working farms, has raised thousands of pounds for Sussex charities since it first opened in 1972.

There are seven different walks in the 23 acre wood, including the graveled Blue Walk, which gives access to mobility scooters, wheelchairs and pushchairs. Mobility scooters are also available to borrow free of charge.

John McCutchan, farmer at Bates Green Farm near Hailsham, who created the walks and looks after the wood, cut the ribbon to open the woods early this year, as white wood anemones and bluebells had already opened.

He said: “I believe we may see one of the most spectacular bluebell displays ever this year.”

Around 17 charities will hold charity events at the walk this year.

To date, the Arlington Bluebell Walk has raised more than £500,000 for 60 local causes since the attraction opened to the public 42 years ago.

John continued: “Bluebells signify that spring has well and truly arrived and warmer weather is on its way.

“A woodland walk among a carpet of bluebells is an experience to delight all the senses – from the scent of the native bluebell to the crunch underfoot of old autumn leaves and birdsong up above.

“The Arlington Bluebell Walk has walks and activities which allow people of all ages and physical abilities to experience this stunning natural phenomenon.”

The beauty of the spring bluebells has inspired writers, such as the Bronte sisters, and artists for generations.

Photographers are encouraged to capture the sea of blue in the annual Arlington Bluebell Walk Photographic Competition. The winning entry will be featured on the front of the 2015 attraction leaflet and entries from 2013 will be on display.

The walk is open until May 18 from 10am until 5pm.

Adults £5, children £2 or family of up to six is £12. Seniors £4.50.

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