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Belgium. Blue bells in Hallerbos forest

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Hallerbos, Belgium’s famous “enchanted forest”, turned blue on Tuesday as the hyacinths (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) began to bloom. Photographers from many parts of the world immediately rushed to the spot, because the phenomenal landscape will disappear in a few days.

Every year, tourists flock to the Hallerbos forest near Brussels, also known as the “enchanted forest”. It owes this name to common hyacinths (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) – plants with elongated, intensely blue flowers. On Tuesday, blooming bluebells turned its undergrowth into a large blue carpet.

A few days of magic

Hallerbos is largely a wild forest with only a few walking paths. Nevertheless, it is very popular among tourists from all over the world. In recent years, when the spring was warm and serene, up to 100,000 people passed through it.

– There are a lot of hyacinths here, they are everywhere. On top of that, the weather is beautiful, which makes me very happy,” one photographer, who traveled more than 120 kilometers to reach the “enchanted forest” before the influx of tourists, told Reuters.

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After a short period of flowering, leaves begin to grow on the surrounding beeches, blocking sunlight from reaching the lower layers of the forest. This is why visitors have a very short window of time to see the floral carpet in all its glory.

Blue carpet of flowers in Hallerbos forestReuters

Blue carpet of flowers in Hallerbos forestReuters

Fleeting and sensitive

Marc Snoeck, mayor of the nearby town of Halle, said that as the crowds grew, the flowers suffered because they were trampled or picked for bouquets. Since then, parking near Hallerbos has been largely prohibited and people are driven to the site from Halle. In addition, there is a total ban on leaving the marked paths on site, and dogs must be kept on a leash.

– Stomping on flowers is the worst thing you can do at this time of year, explained volunteer Pierre Kestemont.

The ban does not apply to deer living in the forest. On Tuesday, filmmakers managed to capture the moment when the animals roamed the blue carpet.

Blue carpet of flowers in Hallerbos forestReuters

Main photo source: Reuters

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