There was a definite buzz in the air at Dockey Wood over the Bank holiday week-end. The exceptional sunny weather more than made up for the write-off from the previous week, and it brought out the visitors and the bees in large numbers. The volunteers were buzzing with pride, glad to show off their work in the wood now recognised nationally as the best in show for bluebells, surpassing many other famous sites like Sherwood Forest.
The seasonal clamour for the blue angels is much like that for the snowdrops at the National Trust site at Anglesey Abbey – white for purity, while blue offers protection, faith, strength and courage. Subconsciously that is probably why visitors return regularly year on year to view the sea of blue – some visitors have been returning regularly for over twenty years.
A name, a colour, a smell, a season – flowers will always have a potent collection of qualities to ensure that they will always be teasing us with memories of past walks, meetings and childhood outings. For the older generation a return visit to Dockey Wood is something of a right of passage – another year to be ticked off in a person’s lifespan!
The spring flowers are also a welcome attraction for the bees, since they have been pollinators for over eighty million years. Their future is now more secure with the E U ban last month on the use of neonicotinoids, a pesticide used on farmland which has a harmful effect on pollinators. The picture provides a bee’s-eye view of their world in Dockey Wood.
With the returning regulars and the ever increasing number of new visitors from far and wide it is easy to visualise long queues at the gate in the years to come, thus requiring an over-flow car park in the adjacent meadow!
Thanks to Richard Mabey for his contribution.