Friday 27 April 2018

Is it okay to pick Bluebells?

Today I came across someone picking Bluebells in the Millennium Wood. I informed them that picking Bluebells was illegal. This is incorrect and for that I apologise!

It is illegal to dig up and take the Native bulbs though.

However it does raise the question “Is it okay to pick Bluebells”.

There are between 20-30 small clumps of Bluebells in the Millennium Wood and any picking of the flowers by one or more persons will have a detrimental effect.

Is this a selfish act? By taking flowers that could be enjoyed by many rather than a few. If several people picked the flowers there would be none left for anyone to enjoy.

There is also an environmental issue, Bees, hoverflies, butterflies and other insects feed on the nectar of bluebell. Their flowers provide an important early source of nectar and our native insects need all the help they can get these days.

The pollinators also aid in the proliferating of Bluebells though out a woodland.

There is also an issue as Bluebells contain glycosides and are poisonous and the sap from them can cause dermatitis.

Although still common in Britain, bluebell is threatened locally by:

· habitat destruction

· collection from the wild

· cross-breeding (hybridisation) with non-native bluebells.

Non-native bluebells that escaped from gardens or that were dumped in garden waste have hybridised with our true native populations to produce Hyacinthoides x massartiana.

Since 1998 it has been illegal for anyone to collect native bluebells from the wild for sale. This legislation was designed specifically to protect bluebell from unscrupulous bulb collectors who supply garden centres.

Thank you to the “Woodland Trust” for most of the above information.

 Native Bluebell
Spanish Bluebell
Millennium Wood Bluebell

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