Appeal to respect the spectacular bluebells of Three Rivers
11th May 2023
As carpets of bluebells bring colour to woodlands and meadows across Three Rivers this spring an appeal has been made to protect the delicate wildflowers.
Biodiversity officers at Three Rivers District Council have warned that colonies of bluebells can easily be killed off if they suffer from too much human interference – and urged people to enjoy the plants without picking too many or trampling them.
Cllr Chris Lloyd, Lead Member for Leisure, said: “It is a wonderful time of year to enjoy the meadows and woodlands of Three Rivers – and the carpets of brilliant bluebells are spectacular. But this is just a gentle reminder to people that our bluebells are very delicate and must be treated with care, so we urge than you try not to trample them or disturb them so that they become well established and continue to return year after year.”
UK woodlands are home to approximately 50% of the world’s bluebell population; however, the British bluebells are under threat. Native British bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) grow naturally in woodlands throughout the UK.
In the early 1900s, Victorians introduced Spanish bluebells to the UK as garden plants - which are much stronger than the native variety and outcompete them for light and space.
Jess Hodges, the council’s Biodiversity Officer, said: “Bluebells are fragile plants, they don’t like disturbance and are very slow to establish themselves as a colony. Therefore, it is very important not to pick or trample on the bluebells as this damage to the plant means that it cannot photosynthesise as well and without adequate nutrients the plant will die.”