Arlington Bluebell Walk & Farm Trail in East Sussex is celebrating raising over £1million for local charities and in 2019 will open for its 47th year from 11 April to 19 May 2019.
The public can enjoy spectacular seasonal views in one of the UK’s most beautiful bluebell woods, with a cafe and shop offering all day menus and afternoon cream teas, as well as family fun including meeting farm animals and watching cows being milked.
John McCutchan of Bates Green Farm near Hailsham, opened this ancient oak wood for the first time 47 years ago, offering local charities the opportunity to raise funds from the visiting public.
Since then over 74 charities have benefited to the tune of over £1million from the Arlington Bluebell Walk.
“It is a great pleasure to share this natural beauty with the community, both through opening it for the public to enjoy and also for local charities to benefit. We are extremely proud that over £1million has now been raised for charities and look forward to raising much more in the future,” said John McCutchan.
The McCutchan family works hard throughout the year to manage Beatons Wood and provide a variety of well tended pathways, including wheelchair accessible routes, so that everyone can enjoy this short, but spectacular moment in spring, when the white wood anemones and bluebells are flowering.
The Arlington Bluebell Walk, which takes in three working farms, offers seven different walks in the 24 acre wood and adjoining farmland. The graveled Blue Walk in Beatons Wood gives easy access to mobility scooters, and fourteen are available to borrow free of charge.
Twenty-three charities will take part in the 2019 event, fundraising for their different causes by providing food and drink to walkers and four more are selling arts, crafts and plants.
John McCutchan 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. We would like to encourage people to come and experience this stunning natural phenomenon.”
The fleeting 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. There are cash prizes to be won, plus one chosen image will be featured on the front of the 2020 attraction leaflet. Winning entries from the 2018 Competition will be on display in the Bluebell Barn.
There is also a children’s quiz with nature book prizes kindly supplied by the children’s book publisher Miles Kelly. The quizzes are based on the different colour coded walks.
Visitors can get up close to farm animals with pens of pigs, pygmy goats, Herdwick ewes and lambs . At neighbouring Parkwood Farm, the milking of the large dairy herd can be seen from a special viewing gallery every afternoon between 3pm and 5pm.
Location: Arlington Bluebell Walk, Bates Green Farm, Tye Hill Road, Arlington, Polegate, East Sussex, BN26 6SH (signs off A22 and A27)
Opening hours: 10am-5pm every day from 11 April to 19 May
Tickets: Adults £6.00, Seniors £5.50 (60 yrs+), Children £2.50 (3-16 yrs), Family £15.00 (2 adults and up to 4 children).
Access: Range of walk options including a wheelchair accessible route; Dogs welcome on leads. Free car parking.
Image credit: petergoldsmithphotos.co.uk