The mild winter and spring could bring bluebells into bloom early and deliver a bumper display of the woodland flowers, Forestry England said.

Bluebells usually flower from late March to early May, one of the last spring woodland flowers to bloom after snowdrops, primroses, celandine and wood anemones, but this year’s mild winter and spring means they may well be early.

Forestry England, which looks after the country’s 1,500 public woods and forests, also said it expected a bumper bluebell display in woodlands this year.

The organisation is encouraging people to head to woodlands and enjoy the blue, scented carpets of flowers this spring.

It comes after provisional figures from the Met Office showed both England and Wales saw their warmest February on record, and the winter as a whole was the fifth warmest ever recorded for the UK.

It is the latest sign the unusually warm weather is having an impact on the natural world.

Bluebells in open ground with conifers in the background at Bedgebury pinetum (Forestry England/PA)
Bluebells at Bedgebury pinetum (Forestry England/PA)

The National Trust has said that the mild weather has brought forward the blossoming of trees and shrubs including magnolias in its gardens.

The charity says the arrival of blooms as much as four weeks early is a clear sign of the impact of climate change.

Forestry England has produced a list of some of the best places to see bluebells in its woods this spring, reminding people that the flowers are easily damaged so they should stick to paths and trails.

Top spots range from Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest in Kent and Westonbirt, the National Arboretum in Gloucestershire, to the ancient woodlands of West Woods, Wiltshire, and Robin Wood, Derbyshire, as well as the trail along the banks of Bedburn Beck in Hamsterley Forest, County Durham.