People wishing to walk the Daffodil Way and see the local wildflowers can look forward to a free bus shuttle over the next two weekends.

Buses4Us are providing a free shuttle minibus from Newent Lake car park to the daffodil villages with support from Kempley Parish Council, Rail and Bus for Herefordshire.

The wild daffodil is the county flower of Gloucestershire and there is nowhere better to enjoy displays of the flowers than those seen growing wild in the woods and meadows of the Golden Triangle around Newent.

Years ago, ‘Daffodil Line’ trains took a valuable annual harvest of these wild flowers on the branch line from Newent, Four Oaks and Dymock to mainline stations in Ledbury and Gloucester. From there they made their way to the flower markets of Birmingham and London.

Today, most people prefer to see their wild flowers growing in the countryside and in March every year visitors flock to the Golden Triangle to enjoy the show. Back in the 1970s villagers started to open up churches and village halls to serve refreshments to visitors providing a vital source of income for village good causes

For people without access to a car, and those who prefer to travel sustainably there has not previously been a public transport option.

“The narrow lanes around Kempley and Oxenhall become clogged with visiting cars somewhat taking the shine off the natural splendours people have come to see,” said Clare Stone, Chair of Buses4Us community interest company.

“This year, with financial support from Kempley and Rail & Bus for Herefordshire we are delighted to be providing a free shuttle bus from Newent to Kempley on the weekend of 16/17 March, and Newent to Oxenhall and Betty Dawes Wood on the weekend of 23/24 March.”

The minibuses will operate throughout each weekend linking with the 32 and 232 bus services at Newent and giving people travelling from Gloucester, Ross-on-wye and Ledbury the opportunity to enjoy the daffodils sustainably, and leave the car at home.

“This is a trial service” said Martin Brocklehurst “and if it is well-used we would hope to expand it next year.”