Beautiful bluebells to be on show at farm at Arlington Bluebell Walk

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The Arlington Bluebell Walk team will open their enchanted ancient oak wood to the public on April 9 to May 10.

Everyone is welcome to attend the opening event at 10am on April 9 when Hailsham Town Crier Geoff Rowe will formally open the gates.

All who attend will be offered a glass of hedgerow cordial to toast the opening.

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 to try in the 23-acre Bluebell wood, including the gravelled Blue Walk, which gives access to everyone including mobility scooters, wheelchairs and pushchairs.

Mobility scooters are also available to borrow free of charge.

Fifteen charities will take part in this year’s event, fundraising for different causes by providing food and drink to walkers.

Two new charities are involved this year, including Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance which is sponsored by several Lions Clubs as part of their project to raise £250,000 for a Night Flying project for the Air Ambulance and the JPK Sussex Project.

John McCutchan, Farmer at Bates Green Farm near Hailsham, who created the walks, said: “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.”

Photographers are encouraged to capture the sea of blue in the annual Arlington Bluebell Walk Photographic Competition.

One of the winning entries will be featured on the front of the 2016 attraction leaflet and the winning entries from 2015 will be on display.

There is also a children’s quiz with prizes awarded by the National Farmers Union.

The quizzes are based on the different colour coded walks.

Visitors can also learn more about dairy farming and get up close to farm animals with pens of pigs, angora goats, sheep and baby chicks.

The Bluebell Farm Shop which is normally open Fridays and Saturdays from 9.30pm to 5pm will be open every day the Bluebell Walk is open from 11am and is the main outlet for the beef, lamb and chicken reared by John McCutchan’s son in law Michael Vine at Bates Green Farm.