last year when the Bluebell Walk was a casualty of the first Covid 19 lockdown,
to enable the Walk to be opened Honorary Rotarian John
McCutchan put in place a series of measures to ensure social distancing.
introduced a booking system to limit the number of visitors to not more than 65
visitors every hour from 10am until 4pm.
Further, the only walk available to see the vista of wood anemones and
bluebells was one‑way round Beatons Wood, an ancient wood of oak and hornbeam, with
a separate entrance and exit. Unfortunately,
there was no access to any of the farm trails out of Beatons Wood. The restrictions imposed also meant that
there were no mobility scooters or petting animals in the animal barn. Neither was it possible to serve any food or
drink in The Bluebell Barn.
junctions as you approached Bates Green Farm, each directional sign had a
prominent sticker saying ‘Pre-booked entry only’ to detract potential visitors
who had not pre-booked.
Thus, on Thursday 22nd, Friday 23rd April amd Tuesday 18th May,
Seaford Rotary were at the Information Kiosk located at the farm entrance gate
to check and ensure that only visitors who had booked and paid entered at their
assigned time. Seaford Rotary were not
able to offer refreshments including their usual array of homemade cakes and
spring, Beatons Wood, provides a landscape of colours changing with the
increasing warmth of the days. The
timing of when the bluebells blossom is however dictated by nature, and as according
to the Met Office ‘April 2021 had the lowest average minimum temperatures for
April in the UK since 1922, as air frost and clear conditions combined for a
frost-laden, chilly month, despite long hours of sunshine’, on 22nd and
23rd April, bluebell leaves were still emerging through a white
carpet of wood anemones. There were some
patches of blue where English bluebells could be seen but white was the
dominant colour above a sea of green leaves. By 18th May, there was however a blue panorama of English bluebells in their full glory.
was available to the Bates Green Garden subject to paying a separate entrance
fee, but only to those who had booked to go on the Bluebell Walk. The garden has been restored and was open to
the public for the first time in five years.