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Bluebell Heaven

Over the Bank Holiday weekend, Austy Wood opened its doors .  The wood is privately owned and is normally not accessible to the public.  There is a footpath that navigates the edge of the wood and it is possible to look into the wood and imagine what it is like.  Three charities came together to make it possible to visit the inside of the wood.  Volunteers from Cure Leukaemia, Rotary Club and the Firefighter’s Charity helped organise and arrange for the woods to be open.  It was not only the charities that benefited as there was also a donation to Wootton Warren primary school.

Austy wood boasts the best Bluebell display in Warwickshire and is located on the Stratford Road just past Wooton Warren.  The route is approximately 1 ½ miles long.  The walk starts at Yew Tree Farm and initially you pass over the Stratford-upon-Avon canal and then move onto the farm houses where representatives from the charities take your fee.  A gentle uphill walk leads to the wood.  Look back and you see a magnificent view of the Warwickshire countryside.  Don’t worry about a picture as you revisit that view at the end of the walk.  Entering the woods, I was excited by the sporadic displays of bluebells but this was just a taster to the real show waiting.  Meeting volunteer firemen, the path moves through a meadow and skirts some beautiful carpets of blue flowers.  Yet again this is just the prelude to the main event.  As the path moves deeper into the wood, the carpet becomes thicker and with the sun relatively low in the morning sky, there are lovely shadows to be photographed.

The path then doubles back and drops down into varied parts of the wood.  By this time, you are able to take in the bluebell vista and there are a few surprises such as badger paths and old upturned tree trunks.  Then finally the path leads out of the woods and it is back to that wonderful vista of the Warwickshire countryside.

 

There was so much to photograph and the colours of the bluebells was intense.  The light and shadows was exhilarating and needless to say many photographs were taken.

Thank you to the three charities who helped organise the event.  Dave of the Rotary Club asked if the pictures could be used to advertise the event for next year.  I know that I will be looking out for the dates when the wood is open next year.

The pictures include those of the different volunteers that I met on my walk through the woods.

The opening picture was featured by the BBC on their weatherwatchers site “Record breaking bank holiday weather”

Stratford-upon-Avon Canal
Setting off
Volunteers at the start
Long shadows in the morning
Made in Oz?
Onwards and upwards
Bluebells at the start of the walk
Firefighter volunteer
The beautiful blue carpet
Green paths through the blue
The blue carpet thickens
Wide angled view
Pine “fruit”
Light and shadows on the Bluebells
Close up and bokeh
The morning sun breaks through the trees
More blue views
The views go on and on
More happy volunteers
Who made this path?
Coming to the end of the woodland walk
The arrow shows the way out
Not a bad place to volunteer.
Thank you to our sponsoring charities
The beautiful Warwickshire countryside
More visitors arriving
It is busy at the start
The car park is filling up
A great family day out
A friendly face at the car park. I will be back next year.
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