Rannerdale

Route: Rannerdale 

Area: Western Lake District 

Date of walk: 11th May 2017

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 4.4 miles

Ascent: 1,000 feet

Weather: Sunny and warm 

For the second day running we went in search of bluebells. The Rannerdale bluebells are very unusual in that they grow on open fellside instead of their usual woodland habitat, and they tend to flower a little later than their woodland cousins

We made an early start and parked at Cinderdale Common by the edge of Crummock Water.  After crossing Cinderdale Beck we followed the valley path to High Rannerdale.  Before long we arrived in the bluebell area and were greeted by the wonderful sight – and scent – of huge swathes of these lovely flowers

After admiring the display for a while we continued up the valley to the head of Rannerdale and then descended in the direction of Buttermere village, enjoying some stunning views of Buttermere (the lake) and Crummock Water along the way

A roadside return can be avoided if, like us, you locate a narrow path running behind Great Wood. This continues above Crummock Water to a hause below Rannerdale Knotts, and from here it’s a short descent to the small car park at the toe of the fell

We re-entered the bluebell area, which by now had attracted quite a few admirers, and made our way to the footbridge over Squat Beck – it wasn’t really necessary to use the bridge as the beck was running very low after a prolonged dry spell. From the bridge we retraced our steps back to the start of a wonderful short walk

IMPORTANT NOTE: I’ve been asked by the National Trust (North Lakes) to add this message to my post, and I do so willingly in order to try and help safeguard this wonderful display:

“Rannerdale’s bluebells are renowned as a natural wonder, beloved of visitors and photographers; however, they are being ‘loved to death’. Once the plants are damaged by trampling they can’t photosynthesise enough energy and it can take them years to recover. Over the last 5 years, nearly 25% of the bluebells have been lost. To save the bluebells, and access to them, the National Trust are asking visitors to fight the urge to get in amongst the flowers and just simply stick to the path. Only by protecting them today can we ensure everyone has a chance to enjoy this special spring display in the future.”

Could I please urge anyone following this walk to comply with the message

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