Bluebell Walk 2024

ON THURSDAY 2nd and Friday 3rd May, Seaford Rotary was privileged to have the opportunity again to manage the Arlington Bluebell Walk, Farm Trails & Bates Green Garden as well providing the refreshments at the Bluebell Café at Bates Green Farm, Arlington.

Seaford Rotarians welcomed the visitors and staffed the entrance gate booth and the café.

The weather on the Thursday was grey and overcast all day, Friday was cloudy during the morning, but the sun beamed through the green canopy onto the bluebells in the afternoon.

As we were blessed with two dry days, there were 250 visitors on the Thursday, and 390 on the Friday, the greater numbers being due to the warm sunshine and a blue sky in the afternoon.

Visitors to the Bluebell Walk were able to see the bluebells just past their peak as the wood becomes darker with more leaves of trees opening.  The bluebells offer up an essential oil described as reminiscent of a clear spring day.  Visitors who stood and closed their eyes to allow the floral haze to envelope them, could smell a scent like that of Lily of the Valley, very clean and leafy.

 Visitors could choose from a selection of walks from a short stroll to a longer walk including neighbouring fields and woodland.  Visitors who were less able were able to enjoy the wheelchair route or the more adventurous of them could hire mobility scooters provided by the farmer.

After strolling through Beatons Wood to see the vista of the colonies of bluebells, visitors were able to sample the culinary delights on offer in the Bluebell Café, such as filled jacket potatoes, various salads, sandwiches, and daily specials including ploughman's lunch and soups.

There was a marvellous selection of homemade cakes provided by the wonderful catering team from which the visitor could choose with vegan, dairy free and gluten free options available as well as traditional bakes including Victoria Sandwich, Fruit, Chocolate and Lemon Drizzle cakes along with some less usual including an Apricot Sponge Cake, a Courgette, Lime and Raisin Cake, a Triple Layered Carrot Cake, as well as the perennial favourites Coffee and Walnut Cake and Dundee Cake.

The tempting display of cakes could not have happened without the brilliant support and help of the Rotary ladies and volunteers baking the delicious cakes and savouries etc. for which we, as well as the visitors, are very grateful.  In addition, there were freshly baked scones, plain, fruit or cheese, rock cakes, flap jacks, tea cakes, short bread, brownies and bread pudding available.

We are grateful to the wives and volunteers who helped in the kitchen and servery, all under the organisation and guiding supervision of Rotarian Janice Vince.

The table clearers’ trips to the kitchen kept the washer uppers busy to maintain a continuous supply of clean crockery and cutlery to enable the café to keep running smoothly on both days.

At the end of the day, brooms and dust pans and brushes were put to good use, and tables and work surfaces wiped to leave the Bluebell Café clean for the next charity to staff the facility.

As a result of the sterling efforts of all who helped, initial estimates indicate that over £3,000 was raised.  This will be used to support both local charitable and international Rotary projects.


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