Flowering season 2016
info: in the northern part of the forest, called ‘Keldergat’, trees have been felled this year (wood extraction). Trunks and crowns are lying in various places in that part of the forest and there are piles of firewood along the trails. From 1 March to 30 June however, the wood extraction stops (“schoon” time) and the loggers are not allowed to continue their work. “Schoon” time comes from the German “Schonen” meaning ‘save’, ‘protect’. The “schoon” period helps to protect the vegetation (spring flowers), to ‘save’ and not to disturb the nesting birds.
Permission for professional photo shoots, with or without models, or film recordings must be requested via the box office. In the Hallerbos you must always stay on the paths, also when taking pictures and filming. The soil and vegetation are fragile and very sensitive to trampling. The use of drones is not allowed in the forest.
The summery temperatures of the past days made for a canopy almost completely full of leaves. It is only on some more open spaces that the sun can still reach the flowers. The bluebells are withering and are forming fruit. The white flowers of Ramsons (Bear’s Garlic) are forming beautiful white carpets. Salomon’s seal with its white hanging fowers is blooming, gracefully bending over. Wood-sorrel keeps blooming in the shadow of the conifers, and Herb-Paris is blooming. Along the edges of the wood, Wood spurge and the bushy Bird cherry is blooming.
It is getting more difficult for the sun to reach the flowers as the canopy of leaves gets denser. Even then, it is worthwhile to visit the wood. The bluebells that bloomed first are withering, and the flower carpet is fading. In the valleys where blooming started later, bluebells still have their purple blue colour. Meanwhile, Greater Stitchwort, Yellow Archangel and the beautiful Herb Paris are blooming. When visiting the wood, please observe the main accessibility rule: always stay on the official paths so as not to make worse the damage that has been done to the very fragile vegetation. Also when making pictures: stay on the official paths. Continue for a while along the path and you will come to beautiful places. On many places the bluebells are just along the paths. It is only when trampling on them that they retreat. You are in a fragile and protected nature reserve. Respect it, and do not destroy it.
If you come to enjoy the wood the following days, please stay on the official paths. If what seems a path, is not on the hiking map, it is not a path at all. It is one of the many ‘self-made’ paths made by careless visitors over the last 4 weeks. On many places where there were bluebells a month ago, there is only a bare patch now. Such a pity! The magnificent natural phenomenon of spring wildflowers forming a flower carpet in the Hallerbos is fragile and protected vegetation. It is strictly forbidden to go off the official paths, it is an offence. Anything between the flowers towards a tree stump or a fallen tree is NOT an official path. Bluebells do not tolerate trampling. If people step on a place in the wood, the earth gets dense and hard and no bluebells can grow there anymore.
Right now, their leaves are forming a new flower bulb for next year. By trampling them, this tiny flower bulb is destroyed and there will not be a flower, only a bare patch next year. The same goes when stepping on dry beech or oak leaves between the flowers. The small root that comes from the hyacinth’s seed will not be able to penetrate the soil there, and there will be no new flower there in the future. This is how the bare patches along the paths get bigger every year and some consider them paths (but they are not official paths at all). Do you want to enjoy this beautiful forest and protect it? Then always stay on the official paths and never step on places where there are dry tree leaves, do not trample on the bluebells and their leaves. Thank you!
The bloom of the bluebells has passed its peak. In the valleys where they started blooming about 10 days later, they are still beautiful and still have their deep purple blue colour.
When the sun gets the chance to pierce through the clouds, she can still reach the bluebells through the beech leaves and illuminate the purple blue flower carpet. If you want to come and enjoy the fairy-like spring, you must come the following sunny days. The weather forecast promises sun tomorrow and on Sunday. If you come by bus during the week: from Monday 2 May, bus TEC 114 isn’t going in the direction in the wood anymore, probably until the end of the road works on the Nijvelsesteenweg.
A day full of April showers. The last stage of the beautiful period has started a week ago with the high trees getting into leaves. This means that the canopy above the bluebells will be full of leaves in a few days and this makes it harder and harder for the sun to reach the bluebells. Meanwhile, a lot of other spring bloomers have started blooming: Ramsons, Garlic Mustard, Cuckoo-flower, Pendulous sedge, Early dog-violet, Lords-and-ladies and Wood-sorrel.