Rannerdale bluebells

Rannerdale bluebells

Route: Rannerdale bluebells

Area: Western Lake District 

Date of walk: 15th May 2023

Walkers: Andrew 

Distance: 2.0 miles

Ascent: 200 feet

Weather: Sunny spells

Mid-May is the perfect time to visit the spectacle of the Rannerdale bluebells. They 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

I made an early start and parked at Cinderdale Common by the edge of Crummock Water.  After fording Cinderdale Beck (best done at the very start) I followed the valley path to High Rannerdale.  Before long I arrived in the bluebell area and was greeted by the wonderful sight – and scent – of huge swathes of these lovely flowers. I was fortunate with my timing as the bluebells were just starting to go over, but this was only noticeable on close inspection. The overall view was as good as ever

I crossed the footbridge over Squat Beck and followed a path around the foot of Rannerdale Knotts. This leads to the Buttermere road, and a short walk along the road leads back to Cinderdale Common. The alternative way back, which I preferred to take today, is to retrace your steps. There’s no hardship in enjoying the spectacle for a second time, and this proved to be a good choice as the sun slowly rose over the surrounding fells

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 ask anyone following this walk to comply with the message

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