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Author Topic: Blue Bells
Chilterns
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Post Re: Blue Bells
on: July 20, 2015, 07:18
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I gathered blue bells seed on 18th July during summer 2015 following a prolongued dry period with the blue bell stalks dry and beginning to fall over with the seed pods splitting open.

In about one hour I gathered enough seed pods to produce 350 grams of seed which I will now broadcast to other parts of the woodland to hopefully increase blue bell cover.

Chilterns

Ken Hume
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Posts: 418
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Post Re: Blue Bells
on: July 21, 2015, 10:32
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Natural England advises that the native English Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) was added to Schedule 8 of The Wildlife and Countryside Act in 1998. It is listed on Schedule 8 in relation to Section 13(2) of the Act. Bluebells were added to Schedule 8 because bulb stealing from woodlands was an increasing problem. The change was intended to make the sale of unsustainable harvesting illegal and thus eliminate the incentive for large scale removal of Bluebell bulbs from the wild.

This means that it is an offence if any person;

· sells, offers or exposes for sale, or has in his possession or transports for the purpose of sale, any live or dead wild plant included in Schedule 8, or any part of, or anything derived from such a plant; or

· publishes or causes to be published any advertisement likely to be understood as conveying that he buys or sells, or intends to buy or sell any of those things.

It is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act to harvest Bluebells from the wild without landowners permission.

Licences can be issued under Section 16(4)(b) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act to allow the sale of Bluebell seeds or bulbs. However, Natural England policy is that they will only licence the sale of Bluebell material where there is evidence or a convincing case that the material is native English Bluebells. This is to ensure that Natural England does not facilitate the trade of non-native or hybrid material under the guise of native Bluebells. Applicants for a licence will need to provide strong evidence that the material (bulbs or seed) to be sold is native Bluebells. Evidence could include an opinion from a suitably experienced botanist and / or a description of the population of Bluebells and their isolated location which means that it is unlikely to have been influenced by gardens or horticulture.

Applicants can check with the BSBI county plant recorders who may be able to help confirm that the Bluebells are native:

Natural England will only licence the sale of material which has been harvested sustainably from the wild. This policy is designed to ensure the long term viability of the Bluebells in the area which is being harvested.

Applicants will need to provide a collection methodology which gives details of how the material will be collected sustainably. Collection should be done by hand and only collected from a proportion of the Bluebell population each year.

Natural England will check that the area is not a designated area of land and also whether the area is an ancient woodland as listed on the ancient woodland inventory. Natural England will only issue licences to sell bulbs if they are satisfied that there will not be a detrimental effect on the immediate Bluebell population or on any other protected wildlife.

Natural England Wildlife Licensing can be contacted by tel on 0300 0603900 or by email

Ken Hume

Ken Hume
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Posts: 418
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Post Re: Blue Bells
on: March 3, 2016, 16:05
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Following a very mild wet winter I noted small flashes of blue in the woodland on Monday 29th February and so made a deliberate stop on Thursday 03 March to take a photo of same revealing the first blue bells in flower this year.

Image

Most of the other blue bells are still only showing green leaves with some flower stalks developing and become more obvious.

This is nearly one month earlier than last year's equivalent early flowering of 01st April 2015.

Global warming is happening.

Ken Hume

Ken Hume
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Posts: 418
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Post Re: Blue Bells
on: April 29, 2016, 19:22
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The blue bells peaked this week and were in prime condition when inspected on Friday 29th April and with the current cold weather they should remain in peak condition for the (Sun 1st) May Bank Holiday.

Image

Just occasionally a white bell can be spotted in amogst the blue bells and primroses.

Ken Hume

Ken Hume
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Posts: 418
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Post Re: Blue Bells
on: December 29, 2016, 19:46
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When scraping away the leaf litter covering the woodland floor on 26th December 2016 it was noted that blue bell shoots have already pushed through the ground by about half an inch and so those areas known to be covered in blue bells are now deemed to be off limits for foot and vehicle traffic.

Ken Hume OWG

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