It’s Bluebell Time Again

The warm weather has certainly hastened the bluebells to push their way through; are they earlier than ever or is that just my imagination? However, this annual cycle of colour also brings with it a few dilemmas for those of us dealing with the public. Do we continue to allow walking and dog disturbance in areas of bluebells and accept that this is just part of the public’s perception of access or attempt to seasonally curtail them?

I suspect that you already have your own views and procedures in place but for those that don’t there are two things that I try to do. First, when meeting and greeting folk around the sites I always make a point of asking them, wherever possible, to keep off the bluebells and certainly not to pick them!  Secondly, some well placed temporary interpretation boards seem to work quite well. I try to make these informative rather than do’s and dont’s –  education rather than discipline; perhaps this just a hangover from my teaching days!

Or do I subscribe to the other viewpoint?

On the other hand, your thoughts may well be that we should be encouraging more access and hence greater opportunities for understanding and conservation in these areas and not worry too much about slight damage to areas ‘just off the path’.   What’s better to see than a young family enjoying an afternoon walk amongst the bluebells, children playfully running and picking a few well chosen flowers.  Over to you . . .


Martin Reeves



About grasslandstrust

The Grasslands Trust is the only national UK charity that focuses entirely on saving grasslands that are valuable because they are rich in wildlife, history, or for other reasons.
This entry was posted in Community involvement, education, grasslands, Grasslands Trust Nature Reserves, Local Sites, Martin Reeves and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to It’s Bluebell Time Again

  1. Paul Beevers says:

    Boy is this a big question. In fact I had just sent an email to a wonderful and constructive resident who uses Old Down (you know our site) asking him to meet me and begin a conversation on how we get people to live in harmony with nature and recognise they have a responsibilty to care for it. I would like to use design e.g, strategically placed new hedges, on our site to try to modify trampling if possible but that would not be appropriate to every site. On our site people walk over everything and feel they have the absolute right to do so. There is no longer any understanding or respect and the sad thing seems to be that parents and school are mostly not helping. I use temporary noticeboards a lot and I know some people read them and many just walk past. How do we get to those latter people? Only this afternoon a 13/14 year old lad with his girlfriend dropped his empty can on the ground and proceeded to kick it away. I asked him to pick it up and put it in a bin but i am pretty sure when I went in the other direction he will have dropped it somewhere. I will be interested to read of any other approaches that people have used.
    By the way we just got SINC status on the whole site. Paul

  2. Pingback: Sowing the Seeds | Moos, News and Views – The Grasslands Trust Blog

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