If you have yet to head out into the woods this Spring, then do not delay - the bluebells are at their finest right now.
The photo above is a view of a small valley in the middle of Stansted Forest, just a short walk from home. Unlike the majority of bluebells, which are usually found deep within the trees, this wonderful display spills out into the open grassland of a large clearing at the bottom of the valley, creating the wonderful effect of a river of blue (or is that purple?).
I do realise that I'm probably in danger of sounding like a grumpy old man here, however.... I recently revisited a favourite landmark, not far from home, called Butser Hill.
The walks and the amazing views were all still just as good as I remembered.
Assuming, the car parking fee would have gone up since, I had made sure to bring plenty of coins.
However, on pulling up to the 'Pay as you exit' barrier, I was shocked to discover the new machine only accepted bank cards (which I hadn't bought with me)!
To put you more in the picture, this hill is completely isolated from any other facilities - in the middle of the countryside. If, like me, you had assumed that money was an acceptable way to pay for things - you were stuck.
Fortunately, the people in the car behind us bailed us out, and used their card to let us out.
I do find it audacious that Hampshire County Council see fit to effectively ban anyone who doesn't use a bank card from visiting this public facility, let alone anyone like me who simply thought that cash was still a valid means of exchange - shame on you HCC.
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