Stick to the paths while bluebells bloom, says Essex Wildlife Trust

A purple flower up close, surrounded by other white and purple flowers: a bluebell.

Bluebells carpet the woodland floor in late-April and May - Credit: Supplied by Essex Wildlife Trust

The woodland floor in Essex is often carpeted by bluebells at this time of year.

Wildlife experts in the county are warning visitors to 'stick to the paths' to avoid destroying the fragile flowers.

Essex Wildlife Trust said the delicate plants take between five and seven years to establish, so damaging bluebells could have long-lasting consequences.

A spokesperson for the Trust said: "Stick to marked pathways and be mindful of where you tread to ensure the spectacle can continue for many generations to come."

They maintain woodland in Uttlesford which is a sea of colour caused by spring flowers, including bluebells, in May.

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A spokesperson said: "West Wood, Thaxted and Shadwell Wood, Saffron Waldon are both prime examples of ancient woodland.

"Lilac bluebells, buttery oxlips and bright white wood anemones provide dazzling displays of colour throughout the spring months."

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Around half the world's bluebells are found in the UK.

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