Time to find isolated Bluebell populations in Bexley

Remnant Bluebell population in the grounds of Hurst Community Centre, April 2014

Remnant Bluebell population in the grounds of Hurst Community Centre, April 2014

While out and about leafleting in Bexley I spotted these English Bluebells in the grounds of Hurst Community Centre, Hurst Road. There were small patches dotted around the extensive lawns, particularly under the mature trees and, as is often the case, small clumps around the bases of trees where the gang mowers are unable to go.

Looking slightly less attractive in this context, it is interesting to speculate how long this population has hung on in the grounds. There are good numbers in the woodland in Footscray Meadows, about 1 mile away, small numbers in Rutland Shaw ( a few hundred yards away) and about 20 plants in a verge in Bexley Lane half a mile away. They are also in Bexley Woods about half a mile in the other direction which suggests that the area was once a carpet of Bluebells in the spring.

Remnant Bluebell population in the grounds of Hurst Community Centre, April 2014

English Bluebells are at risk from hybridisation with closely related garden plant the Spanish Bluebell (aka Spanish Squill) and you can read more about the problem and the project to protect native Bluebells in Burstead Wood at http://www.bexleywildlife.org/conservation-wildlife-projects-bexley/bursted-woods-spanishhybrid-bluebell-removal/

If you wanted to see Bluebells in larger quantities than we have in Bexley, then The Woodland Trust lists Bluebell Woods around the country at this site: http://visitwoods.org.uk/en/visit-woods/things-to-do/nature/Pages/bluebell-walks.aspx#.U19R3FVdWSo

There is an ID guide to help distinguish native, Spanish and hybrid bluebells here:

http://www.bsbi.org.uk/Hyacinthoides_Crib.pdf

 

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