Bluebells, Hay Wood, Near Baddesley Clinton, April 2024

The bluebell season is here and is earlier than normal.  Usually the flowers are in full bloom around the May Bank holiday weekend.  This year their arrival appears to be 1 to 2 weeks early.  A blue carpet of bluebells is always stunning especially when set against the backdrop of the woodland.  This year I went to Hay Wood as a fellow photographer had taken a picture of the blue carpets of flowers and the scene looked stunning.  

Bluebells, Hay Wood, Near Baddesley Clinton, April 2024
The blue carpet of bluebells.

Hay Wood is part of Forestry England and is a small wood which is near to Baddesley Clinton. The latter is an outstanding National Trust property which is always lovely to visit. We are fortunate to have Hay Wood nearby.  The bluebells appear on specific patches to the east and west parts of the woodland.  The easterly display was at its peak and even though I was there around midday, the light was wonderful.  The new shoots of green leaves glistened in the sun and the bluebells contrasted against the trees rising upwards.  

Bluebells, Hay Wood, Near Baddesley Clinton, April 2024
Light and shadows highlighting the scene.
Bluebells, Hay Wood, Near Baddesley Clinton, April 2024
Bluebells around the trees.

The bluebells to the west of the wood looked beautiful and they were still flowering.  More photographs of the blue carpet were taken.  The western part of the wood has a public footpath that links with St Michael’s church that is adjacent to the Baddesley Clinton estate.  I visited the church as there is the opportunity to take a picture of the bluebells in the foreground and the church providing the background interest.

Bluebells, Hay Wood, Near Baddesley Clinton, April 2024
A solitary bluebell plant with a backdrop of green and blue.
Bluebells, Hay Wood, Near Baddesley Clinton, April 2024
Old tree trunks add interest to the scene.
Bluebells, Hay Wood, Near Baddesley Clinton, April 2024
Muddy paths led to the bluebells.
Bluebells, Hay Wood, Near Baddesley Clinton, April 2024
St Michael’s Church, Baddesley Clinton with bluebells.

All these pictures were taken with my Fujifilm x100vi and  I bracketed the exposure of the pictures.  The 3 photographs were merged with the HDR function in Lightroom.  Some adjustments of the shadows and highlights plus dodging and burning were made.

If you enjoyed these pictures of the bluebells then please follow the links below to see previous entries in my blog.

Hay Wood

A forecast of fog followed by a sunny day, sent me down to Hay Wood for a morning of photographs.  I took my tripod and my Canon D5.  Setting up the camera (Canon 5D) for the pictures I took 5 pictures of the scene by bracketing with 5 pictures at -2 EV, -1EV, 0 +1 EV and +2 EV.  The five pictures were blended in Photoshop to give a HDR output.  Comments on the pictures posted on social media were that the scenes took on a “painterly” look.  This is the successful look that I was hoping to achieve.

Hay Wood
Hay wood and the light lights up the path
Sunrise in Hay Wood
Rays of light filter through into the wood.
Hay wood
A line up of trees in Hay Wood
Sunrise in Hey Wood
Shooting at the sun and looking for a reflection from water in the field.

All about Hay Wood from Forestry England
More Blog posts about Hay Wood
1-Wood Walking
2-Hay Wood: my forrest adventure with my camera

Hay Wood Adventure

Forestry England have a number of woodlands located across the West Midlands and my closest one, Hay Wood, is located near Baddesley Clinton. I have been a number of times and always found it a wonderful place to visit. It is best described as a peaceful ancient woodland site with a great diversity of wildlife. Usually I have walked around or cycled into the Wood via bike.

Hay Wood
A beautiful day in Hay Wood

When walking, I have usually stayed around the front part of the forest near to the road as it is a bit of a hike into the far end of the wood. This time I wanted to delve deeper into the wood and therefore walked up to he end of the central road and instead of going left or right at the end, heading into the deeps of the wood. It had been raining heavily the night before and I started to regret my decision as the going was very soft and wet. There were old tractor grooves which allowed you to walk on the ridge away from the water.

Hay Wood
Sunlight streams down

Deeper into the forrest the light became more interesting. The sun came out and there were small pockets of light that managed to get through the trees. I encountered a young conifer and it was bathed in light which made for a good photograph. The dying ferns had turned a yellow orange colour and added an interesting layer to the forrest floor. It appeared to be a carpet of colour.

Hay Wood
A new hope in the Forrest

It was very difficult moving through this part of the wood and after a while I made my way to the roads where it was obviously much easier to move around. I took a selection of pictures and they show the light and colour of the forest.

Hay wood
Sunlight above, water below

The web site encourages you to escape to Hay Wood for your next forest adventure. Whether walking or riding, Hay Wood is the perfect place to get away from it all and relax. I could not agree more.

Hay Wood
Paths in the Woodland
Hay Wood
Mos growing on logs of wood
Hay Wood
Hay Wood Colours

Ever since the Government eased the strict lockdown then I cleaned up my bike and started to go out on bike rides.  I throw my Canon 5D camera into a bag with both the EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM and EF70-200mm f/4L IS USM.  Both lenses are excellent in covering most situations where I want to take pictures.  With the bright sunlight, I do use my polaroid lens fileter on the 24-70mm lens.  

Bluebells at Hay Wood

My first ride was to Hay Wood and then followed that up with going to Lapworth and the picturesque Kingswood junction. It did take some time to rest my stiff muscles before I was able to get going again.  After the short rest, I started to become more adventurous and went down to Lowsenford and back through Lapworth.  Following this,  I pushed myself further by going to Tanworth in Arden via Earlswood lakes.  This ride was challenging as it was a very windy day and there was a definite disadvantage as you cycled into the wind.  My next adventure was to Meriden and the centre of England.  The miles were being stacked up and I felt confident of my next ride to Kenilworth which was 24 miles there and back.  It was great to see the castle at Kenilworth even though one could only peer over the walls. 

The lockmaster’s cottage owned by the Landmark Trust at Lowsenford.

Doing these bike rides makes me realise how beautiful the Warwickshire countryside is and I hope you agree when you see this set of pictures.

Meriden Duck Pond
Brook Meadow in Darley Green near Dorridge
Field of Barley, near Temple Balsall
Kenilworth Castle