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Native bluebells in full bloom
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Date Issued: 17 April 2011

 

Native bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) are currently carpeting British woodlands – a sure sign of spring and of good woodland management. You can find out why by playing the Royal Forestry Society (RFS) Woodland Game with your family.

To enjoy and help protect this annual spring spectacular for future generations read more (www.rfs.org.uk/bluebell-woods) or, if you live near the Chilterns, why not visit ourHockeridge and Pancake Woods where ancient woodland flowers including primrose, bluebells, yellow archangel and tway-blade orchid can all be found.

Native bluebells are rich in folk lore (often associated with fairy enchantments), and their presence can indicate ancient woodland sites. They require very specific conditions to flourish and are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 which means they cannot be picked, dug up or destroyed and seeds can only be collected under licence. They also face threats from hybridisation with imported Spanish bluebells.

The RFS promotes the wise management of trees and woodlands to develop a strong timber industry, to encourage biodiversity and the health benefits that woodland walks and leisure activities bring. The 100 or so woodland visits organised each year by our Divisions address different aspects of woodland management. They are open to all members and, by arrangement, to visitors. Find out more about this year’s events by checking our calendar, or go to: join the RFS.