A Tale of Two Bluebell Woods

A Tale of Two Bluebell Woods

taking your photography to the next level

Every May the blueing of the old woods heralds the arrival of spring. Already the canopy is closing in ready for summer’s stillness but under the verdance of beech, oak and sycamore drifts of sky-blue dominate.

Across our islands the old woods resound with a hundred thousand bird songs, the sweet sensual chorus of thrush, robin and warbler nectar to our hungering ears.

Layered throughout the blue green woodland floor ramsons, marigolds, primroses, anemones and sorrel turn newborn faces sunwards.



May 12th, 2018. Nr Beacon Fell, Forest of Bowland., Lancashire.

Brock Bottom Wood

Clinging tightly to the curves of the River Brock, this ancient valley hums with life throughout the year, but especially in bluebell season.

Drifts of the flowers mingle between the densely woven woodland, sharing space with sulphurous marsh marigold, linen white ramsons and bursting birch buds.

Crystal clear becks dance their way down the meadows, haunt of roe deer, fox and badger as heron, dipper and wagtail lay claim to the rock strewn river that tumbles it’s way forcibly through these lower reaches of the Forest of Bowland.

Boggy Wood

Straining ever upwards, this spacious woodland stretches it’s head out from the damp spring floor, an old growth of stately beech, sycamore and oak clamour and surge above a rowan and birch understory.

Boggy Wood is like no other. To tread in it’s depths is to feel a silence and solace that is truly captivating. Just being in it’s presence is a meditation of calm.

Stands of yellow flag iris punctuate the watery quarters, surrounded by the greenest mosses and bluest bluebells.

This is a place I never want to leave.

Sensing the Difference

We’ll be spending the morning exploring Brocks Bottom wood before journeying a short distance up the valley to Boggy Wood where the difference in atmosphere is quite marked.

The suggested project of the day will be to portray that difference and compare the two woods using your visual literacy. This gentle challenge will encourage you to feel the light in each place, to contemplate the weave of each ecosystem and discover how to tell the tale of two bluebell woods.

Awakening to the subtle nuances of each place will educate and inform your creativity and enable you to apply this quite knowing to all of your photography.

The Beauty of a Small Group

I’ll be on hand to coach all workshop attendees on a one to one basis throughout the day, from start to finish, and will aim to cover whatever skills are needed to step more fully into this creative life.

Whether it be the core technical toolset of aperture, shutter speed and iso, focusing considerations and decisions or the more evocative challenges of story sensing, compositional fluency or message interpretation I’ll be your guide.

Camera settings, technique, gear recommendations, printing concerns… whatever you need I’ll do my utmost to help. I’ll keep a close eye on each of the 8 photographers and advise on any aspect of photo technique that needs a slight nudge.



The day will begin with an early start on Saturday the 12th of May. Meeting at the Beacon Fell visitor centre carpark at 8am we’ll drive the mile or so to Brocks Bottom and enjoy the morning working our way down the ribbon of woodland never far from the call of the river.
We’ll break for lunch at Cobble Hey Farm Cafe before driving to the edge of Boggy Wood for our afternoon sojourn down the green slopes into the vast basin of silence that is the ancient forest.
This day long workshop is eternally popular, and for good reason! Would you like to be one of our small group and work on the Tale of Two Bluebell Woods project?


This workshop is now fully booked.