Flowering season 2018
info: in the southwestern 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 commercial or 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.
Purple-blue and transparent fresh green are the two colours that fill the wood. After last week’s summery temperatures young beech leaves fill the canopy above the bluebells, so the sunlight can barely reach the flowers. That means that the end of the magical time is in sight. There are more leaves every day and so there is less sunlight on the flowers. Until the end of the week, and with some luck also at the weekend, it will stay beautiful. The first bluebells are withering and starting to form fruit.
Bluebells carpet the woodland floor, the sun and the shadow puts them in a different light all day long. Young, almost transparent, fresh green beech leaves ensure a soft, diffuse light in the wood. The deep purple-blue sea of flowers gives the wood a fairy-tale-like allure. Even the edges of the valleys are getting their purple-blue colour. In the moist, calcareous parts there is the garlic-like smell of Ramsons, which starts flowering. This year’s late cold spell brought about a late growth of spring-flowers, which, due to last week’s extremely hot temperatures, has seldom progressed this quickly. The beeches as well are getting leaves extraordinarily quickly. They were brown last week, now their green canopy fills the sky above the bluebells.
The forest is gorgeous now, with the pleasant aroma of bluebells. The light green transparent young beech leaves above the deep purple blue sea of bluebells have a restful effect. So far, the sun can still reach the flowers. The light alternating with the shadow on the bluebells, creates all shades of blue and purple. The summery temperatures are ideal for walking and enjoying. The downside of these extraordinary high temperatures is that the beeches are getting more and more leaves and that the canopy is getting denser. These unique spring colours will stay for the next 5 to 6 days for sure, but this most wonderful time will not last long this year. Saturday 21 April there is the yearly ‘bluebell jogging’. Weekdays are more quiet in the wood than weekends. This weekend there is the free shuttle bus. More information. Do you want the wood to stay beautiful? Then protect it and take pictures while always staying on the paths.
The purple-blue fairytale-time has begun. The most beautiful of spring is to be experienced now. But it goes quickly. The parts of the forest with oaks, are already filled with fresh green leaves. The summery temperatures have caused the high beeches to come into leaf. Hopefully this will not happen too quickly, so that the bluebells in the valleys also have the chance to flower. The purple-blue flower carpet gets more dense day by day. Enjoying this wonderful spring, seeing the light on the flowers and smelling their fragrance will be a great experience the next ten days, it might last until 1 May. Week days are more quiet. And do stay on the paths, please! Let us keep it nice.
The wood anemones keep flowering beautifully. In the parts of the wood where wood anemones and bluebells grow together, the purple-blue patches are getting bigger. The edges of the valleys stay green for the time being; but wherever the sun can reach the bluebells all day long, the purple-blue bluebells are growing out from the green carpet of leaves. The wood is slowly getting that magical atmosphere. Unfortunately, the first traces of destruction are seen from visitors that step on the bluebells to take pictures, what a shame! Some high beeches are already coming into leaf, due to the sudden summer temperatures. More hot days are forecasted and so, everything may happen very quickly. Hopefully all bluebells get a chance to flower before the beech leaves take away most of the sunlight. The next ten days, the wood is going to get more beautiful by the day, getting a purple-blue flower carpet. Along the path, lesser celandine keeps flowering. In the shadow of the pine trees, wood-sorrel is flowering. Lords-and-ladies is ready to flower.
The forest is more beautiful by the day. The wood anemones are flowering magnificently and at times they fill the air with their fragrance. There are a few flowering bluebells, but the next days most bluebells will still be in their buds, still waiting to start flowering. The first graceful fern curls are unrolling. You can follow a signposted bluebell walk with two options: a 5,1 km walk from Achtdreven (purple sign posts), or a 4,8 km walk from Hogebermweg (purple sign posts with a white line). These two walks are two loops that get together along Tranendal and as such can be combined. The route from parking 11 at Houtveld, towards Achtdreven, is also signposted (1,6 km). The walking map is handed out for free the coming weekends by Bluebell-volunteers, it can also be downloaded here.