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" Rannerdale Bluebells 2020 "

Date & start time:      5th May 2020,   4 pm start.

Location of Start :     Roadside at Fletcher Fields, Crummock, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 161 198 ).

Places visited :          Rannerdale Valley from the Cinderdale direction.

Walk details :              2 mls, 220 ft of ascent, 1 hours 5 mins.

Highest point :           Overlooking the valley from our vantage point on this year's circuit.

Walked with :              Ann and our dogs, Dylan and Dougal.

Weather :                     Sunshine and blue skies, a slightly warm breeze.

© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Licence number PU 100034184.


It was anticipation that we headed out to Rannerdale to see the local spectacle of the massed bluebells in the open Rannerdale Valley environment. 

The hot, dry weather this year will have produced its own variation of this annual treat.

The question everyone asks is . . . " Is it better or worse than last year ? "

We walk up to find out.

With the social exercising rules of this week and the fact that the car parks have been closed

it means that it is a longer walk to see the bluebells this time.

Fletcher's Field on the footpath to Cinderdale.

We're following the footpath on the lake side of the wall, not that there are many cars on the road at present.

The sunny weather has brought on the gorse flowers a little earlier than normal

though they haven't really developed that full pungent coconut aroma as yet.

The car park at Cinderdale, a popular starting point for the walk to the flowers.

Be aware that with the current regulations the car parks are closed.

Ann and I walk the track across the fellside above Rannerdale Farm, heading towards the valley.

To our left the mass of Grasmoor stands as bold as ever, albeit looking a bit dry on its lower slopes.

Ahead is Rannerdale Knotts as we follow the track along.

The farm fields look green enough but the fellside vegetation is quite dry and all the normal boggy puddles and track are parched.

The National Trust have implemented a one way system and a suggested route for visitors.

We follow the signs . . .

. . . which take you to the high ground above the gate where you can get a good view of the valley.

A subsequent chat to the local National Trust Ranger informed us that apparently early visitors who were correctly observing "social distancing rules" when passing fellow visitors, were passing so far apart that they were stepping on the flowers on the path edges.

Consequently the Trust has decided to implement this out-and-back scheme so that folk view the bluebells from outside the walls, as it is not possible to enforce a one way system on the public rights of way inside the field.

Their logic about the CV-19 rules protecting the flowers seemed strange to us when we read this notice but our conversation has clarified the reason for the viewing restriction.

However the panorama of the flowers is good from this chosen viewpoint.

With care and a selection of viewpoints and lenses one can get a good impression of the spectacle again this year.

The first field, looking up towards the Lad Hows summit.
The classic tower of Whiteless Pike above the valley.

The view along the continuation of the path towards Squat Beck and High Snockrigg.

Looking down on the Crab Apple tree at the Hause Pont entrance to the fields.

The flowers look a lot shorter this year, as you would expect with the dry conditions of the last month.

Panning back out from this lower viewpoint.

The Rowan in its field enclosure, the timber of which is looking more unstable each year.

Zooming in on the Gorse bush and Whiteless Pike.
Another Rowan, more in the centre of the valley.

There are nice banks of colour but the contrast with the gorse is not as great this year.

When you can get close the flowers are wonderful.

A crisp close up as the gentle breeze drops for a second.

Blues, greens and browns.
Bluebells, new leaves and old bracken.

A carpet of colour.

- - - o o o - - -


The dry spring seems to have had a detrimental effect

on the final growth spurt of the flowers.


They appear to be shorter than previous years

and in places the colourful banks are pale

as the lack of moisture has held back

the full development of the plants.


Soon the deep rooted bracken

will start to overpower the bluebells

and the colour will fade even further.


It is a nice display this year, but not the best.


- - - o o o - - -


A few final shots with the bigger lens, looking up the valley.

Time to be heading home.

The one way system suggested we use a lower path, so as not to bump into folk using the main path on the outward route.

We take it anyway to try it out, even though there's hardly anyone about . . . I think we've seen about five people in all.

Heading back to Cinderdale.

New lambs in the field, too young to be eating the grass themselves.
The lambs here are younger than the ones in the fields next to our home.

The text books say "don't take views into the sun" but sometimes you can't help it !

No problem re-crossing the Cinderdale Beck today.

Walking back we take the lakeside path once again.

If it were tidal I would say "the tide is well out" . . . but it's not and the lake is just short on water !

Wider shorelines and dry river crossings today.

The sheep pen enclosure at Fletcher Field.

That means we're back where we started.

Lovely to have seen the flowers again this year despite the fact that we were not encouraged to enter the valley.

- - - o o o - - -


Stop Press 11th May 2020.

With the rather non-specific announcement from the government last night about relaxation of the lock-down rules, it seems that the National Trust will not be opening up the car parks until at least the end of the week after a decision to be made at regional office in light of the fine detail of the easing of restrictions.

If you do wish to visit they ask that you continue to observe the distance rules when passing people and also avoid any possibility of damaging the flowers themselves.

Bear in mind that the continued sunny weather and lack of rain means that we probably caught the flowers at the best time and that the colour will now be fading in comparison to these recent pictures.


- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Panasonic Lumix TZ60, or my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . a longer lens in the bag to record the more distant detail.

Go to Home Page . . . © RmH . . . Email me here

Previous walk - 4th May 2020 - Crummock Jetty and Guest Photos

A previous time up here - 3rd May - The Rannerdale Bluebells 2019

Next walk - 11th May 2020 - Brackenthwaite from Scale Hill