Prestigious award for beautiful Bluebell Walk

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The Arlington Bluebell Walk has won a VisitEngland “Hidden Gem” accolade amid a record-breaking year of work.

The accolade comes as part of VisitEngland’s Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme. James Berresford, chief executive of VisitEngland, said of the winners, “ These attractions have succeeded in receiving an accolade either for their warm welcome, unique storytelling or high-quality food and drink; ensuring an all-round quality experience for visitors.

“Our accolades reflect the wide variety of attractions on offer in England and provide the perfect reason to visit and explore the country.”

John McCutchan, Farmer at Bates Green Farm near Hailsham, who created the walks and looks after the wood, is delighted to learn of the news.

He said, “The Bluebell Walk has been taking place for 43 years and we are always working hard to provide an even better experience than the last year. To receive this accolade is recognition of our work and we couldn’t be happier.”

The winners of the Arlington Bluebell Walk’s 2015 photography competition has been announced and this year’s images are as high quality as ever, despite the late spring – and late blooming of the bluebells.

There were five categories in the competition and it was a difficult choice for the judges.

The winners were: Robyn Daly, 12, from Ringmer in the Junior category; Ross Lawford from Bexhill, for ‘Close up of a plant seen on the bluebell walk’; Therona Fraser from Hailsham, who captured a view from one of the walks; John Hooper from Eastbourne for his ‘person or people at the bluebell walk’; and Colin Shearing, Seaford, for his picture of ‘Flora or fauna as seen on the walks’.

Images of the photography competition winners can be seen at www.bluebellwalk.co.uk/gallery2015.htm.

It has been a record-breaking year for The Arlington Bluebell Walk, where 17 charities have raised nearly £42, 000, bringing the grand total raised to more than £800, 000 since it opened in 1972.

The walk also broke their own record, with more than 3000 visitors passing through the gates on one warm May Bank Holiday Monday.

The Arlington Bluebell Walk, which takes place in three working farms, provided seven different walks in the 23-acre Bluebell wood, including the gravelled Blue Walk, which gave access to people of all ages and abilities to enjoy the scenery.

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