As I was home for the Easter holiday, I decided to look into some volunteering work in my local area. A Google search led me to Heartwood Forest, a Woodland Trust site seven miles from my house. There’s currently a project running, encouraging visitors to pledge to protect the bluebells, as many patches in Langley Wood have been destroyed as a result of trampling underfoot.
Previously agricultural land, Heartwood Forest has been transformed into a beautiful area of ancient woodland. Five hundred thousand trees have been planted, and a community orchard full of fruit trees is in progress. Children are encouraged to use a special area for playing and building dens, so as not to trample the bluebells and other flora before they have a chance to bloom.
Next week, I’m returning to Heartwood Forest to lend a hand in spreading the message about protecting our bluebells. The site is the largest new native forest in England (St Albans City and District Council, 2014), so it’s very important that all visitors to the forest – families, horse riders or dog walkers – understand the threat to our bluebells.
- St Albans City and District Council (2014) Heartwood Forest. Available at: http://www.enjoystalbans.com/things-to-do/enjoy-the-outdoors/detail/29936/heartwood-forest-outdoors (Accessed: 27 march 2016)
- Woodland Trust (2013) Heartwood Forest. Available at: http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/wood/5622/heartwood-forest/ (Accessed: 27 March 2016)