Wake up and smell the flowers
DANDELIONS, CLOVER AND BRAMBLE... familiar sights on our waysides, in our woodlands and along our canals, we almost take them for granted, but these wildflowers and their traditional associations are in danger of disappearing from our daily lives.
Recently, the OxfordJuniorDictionary left out over 20 names of common wildflowers and plants from its latest edition, because “it is simply a reflection that for many children today, dandelions, clovers and bramble are not relevant. Words like broadband and cut-and-paste are.”
Other words left out of the OJD include bluebell, buttercup, acorn, catkin and conker.
So should we just accept that, for many children, childhood in the 21st Century is different? Plantlife doesn’t think so and has teamed up with cereal company Nature’s Path to ask families all over the UK to look out for 15 wildflowers this summer and record their findings. Plantlife’s Chief Executive Marian Spain said: “We hope that by taking part in the beescenesurvey, people will rediscover and cherish forgotten wildflowers growing on their own doorsteps – such as dandelion and rosebay willowherb (both pictured), clover and knapweed.
“Will anyone discover that rosebay willowherb grew up from the craters left by bombs in London during the Blitz and was known as bomb-weed, or learn how to tell the time using a dandelion clock?”
Visit wildaboutplants.org. uk/beescene for an easy to use guide on which plants to look out for, and for the interactive map on which findings will be logged.