Blue­bells get peo­ple all po­et­i­cal

Macclesfield Express - - WILDLIFE -

THIS may seem like déjà-vu as you read my an­nual March homage to the blue­bell, but they seem to be get­ting bet­ter ev­ery year.

When we first moved into our Lancashire cot­tage, parts of the lo­cal wood­land had a blue and green tinge. This year there are car­pets through­out the whole area.

And pretty much every­where you go you will find woods filled with vivid green­ery which will even­tu­ally be­come mov­ing seas of blue flow­ers.

There is some­thing about blue­bells that make peo­ple get all po­et­i­cal – and quite rightly too. Even the slight­est gust of­fers the ef­fect of a rolling sea of blue and green.

The move­ment is ex­ag­ger­ated by the nod­ding of the heavy blue­bells bend­ing stems down­wards and rock­ing along with the wind. Th­ese flow­ers have spent most of the year un­der­ground as bulbs in the an­cient wood­lands like Aughton Woods and Boil­ton Woods in Lancashire.

Green shoots start to show in late Fe­bru­ary and then blue and pur­ple flow­ers ar­rive in April for far too short a time.

There could be mil­lions of bulbs hid­den un­der­neath your lo­cal wood­land and this is great news for in­sects look­ing for a bit of work in the area.

Na­tive blue­bells have the bend in their stems and flow­ers tend to con­gre­gate on one side of the stem.

That causes a nod­ding mo­tion which is the rea­son be­hind the ‘blue bells’ name.

You can al­most hear them ring­ing as you wan­der past in wood­land.

Pick­ing any wild­flower is point­less as they will only last a few hours in a jar of wa­ter.

Dig­ging up bulbs is strictly il­le­gal but sadly you still see peo­ple do­ing it in lo­cal woods.

The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Mersey­side is ded­i­cated to the pro­tec­tion and pro­mo­tion of the wildlife in Lancashire, seven bor­oughs of Greater Manchester and four of Mersey­side.

It man­ages around 40 na­ture re­serves and 20 Lo­cal Na­ture Re­serves cov­er­ing acres of wood­land, wet­land, up­land and meadow. The Trust has 27,000 mem­bers, and over 1,200 vol­un­teers.

To be­come a mem­ber of the Trust go to the web­site lanc­ or call 01772 324129. For more in­for­ma­tion about Cheshire Wildlife Trust call 01948 820728 or go to cheshirewil­ uk.

Blue­bells ap­pear to nod as they move in the breeze

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