Rannerdale bluebells


Route: Rannerdale

Area: Western Lake District

Date of walk: 18th May 2018

Walkers: Andrew 

Distance: 2.0 miles

Ascent: 200 feet

Weather: Weak sun

The bluebells growing in Rannerdale are well known, not only for their profusion, but also because they grow on open fellside – a very unusual habitat for them. I’d made a brief visit yesterday and it was clear that the display won’t last much longer, so I decided to go for a short walk centred on the bluebell area

I parked in the car park at Cinderdale Common and after crossing the beck of the same name climbed up to a grassy path along Rannerdale which in turn leads towards High Rannerdale. I passed through a gate which signifies the start of the bluebell area, on which there is a sign warning people not to trample on the flowers – it’s a sad fact that in the last 4 years 25% of the flowers have been lost thanks to the thoughtlessness of others, who walk over the plants, and even pick them to take home

There’s also a sign ‘Dogs on Lead’ and this prompted an unfortunate incident when I noticed a couple with a dog running around off the lead and potentially amongst the bluebells. I asked them politely if they could please put their dog on a lead. Instead of agreeing they tried to dispute the existence of the sign (as if that was relevant), and it emerged that they hadn’t brought a lead, and claimed their dog was well trained. It’s people like that who spoil it for others – and I told them so. I only wished I could have escorted them from the premises

The sight and the scent of the bluebells soon restored my equilibrium and I wandered up the valley, crossed Squat Beck via the wooden footbridge, and walked along the foot of Rannerdale Knotts, leaving the bluebell area as I did so. The short walk back to the car was along the Buttermere road, where I passed more sheep than cars. It was a pleasant hour well spent, although I wonder if in future the National Trust will need to take more robust measures to protect the bluebells from the selfishness and stupidity of a minority of visitors

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