The children have been out exploring our grounds and discovering the annual wonder that is our bluebells. Is there anything better than the sight of a blue carpet in a woody gully?
‘The Bluebell’ – Poem by Anne Brontë
A fine and subtle spirit dwells
In every little flower,
Each one its own sweet feeling breathes
With more or less of power.
There is a silent eloquence
In every wild bluebell
That fills my softened heart with bliss
That words could never tell.
~ Anne Brontë
1) Over half the world’s populations of these iconic wildflowers grow in the UK.
2) Bluebells are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. If you dig up a wild bluebell you can be heavily fined.
3) Ants help to spread bluebell seeds, so if you live near a bluebell wood you may find them popping up in your garden.
4) It takes several years for a native bluebell seed to grow into a bulb and subsequently a flower.
5) Bees enjoy bluebell’s pollen and nectar. Sometimes they ‘steal’ it by biting a hole in the top of the flower.
6) The chequered skipper butterfly also nectars on bluebells, as do several moth species.
7) Folklore used to tell that bluebells ring at daybreak to call fairies to the woods.
8) Bluebell bulbs contain a starch that in Elizabethan times was used to stiffen ruffs.
9) Gum from the roots was used to glue feathers to arrows and in bookbinding.
10) Bluebell juice was said to cure snake bites, but is chemically very potent and can be toxic in large doses.
From the Kent Wildlife Trust