Warm weather and late Easter combine to bring bluebells to London's bank holiday weekend

The warm spring weather has led to an explosion of bluebells in Epping Forest in time for Easter.

Melvyn, a rescue dog from Battersea Dogs' Home enjoys Chalet Wood
Melvyn, a rescue dog from Battersea Dogs' Home enjoys Chalet Wood

This picture of Melvyn, a rescue dog from Battersea Dogs' Home, was taken in Chalet Wood, which is part of Wanstead Park and itself part of Epping Forest.

All the bluebells in the wood are UK natives, Hyacinthoides non-scripta and can be enjoyed by bank holiday visitors because of a combination of a warm spring and a later Easter.

The forest, which is run by the City of London Corporation (CoL), is London’s biggest green space and attracts 4.2 million visits every year.

CoL manages 11,000 acres of green space across London including Hampstead Heath, which has 70 per cent oak trees, so far unaffected by the spread of Oak Processionary Moth (OPM). Epping Forest is 50 per cent oak.  

This year the corporation is sponsoring a show garden at Chelsea Flower Show for the first time to raise awareness of the dangers of OPM. CoL's open spaces director Sue Ireland has been at the forefront of the fight against the spread of OPM, as chair of the OPM steering group of the Forestry Commission's Forestry and Woodland Advisory Committee for London and the South East.

The garden will be designed by Helen Elks-Smith.


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