Bluebell

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Bluebell

BLUEBELL (HYACINTHOIDES NON-SCRIPTA)

LOCAL BIODIVERSITY ACTION PLAN

Links to associated HAPs

Ancient Semi-natural Broadleaved Woodland

Current Status

The U.K. has 30% of the global population of bluebells. Therefore it is essential that the Cheshire region maintain its proportion of this internationally important species. The plant is common throughout Britain, occurring widely, except in Orkney and Shetland. Bluebells are also found scattered throughout western Europe, mainly in France, the Netherlands and Belgium and they have become naturalised in central Europe. This species of bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) should not be confused with the non-native Spanish Bluebell (Hyacinthiodes hispanica). The latter is frequently planted in gardens but the two species hybridise with each other freely.

The bluebell occurs typically in deciduous woodland, especially coppice, where it may dominate the ground flora. It can be common in other shady places such as hedgerow banks and under bracken as well as more open habitats, such as costal grassland in the west of Britain. Humidity and continuity of habitat are key requirements for this species.

Native bluebells are protected under Section 13 (2) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981).

Threats
* Loss or poor management of broadleaved woodland and hedgerow habitat or replanting of broadleaved woodland with conifers.
* Physical damage to leaves and bulbs by trampling or heavy grazing by livestock and deer.
* Exploitation for commercial purposes.
* Hybridisation with Spanish bluebells.
* Tipping of garden waste in woodlands and hedgerows.
* Lack of knowledge about conditions bluebells need to regenerate.

How are we helping to conserve Bluebells in the Cheshire region?

* 'The Cheshire Bluebell Recovery Project' initiated by Landlife and The Mersey Forest team, and given funding by WREN in 2005, continues.
* The Cheshire Bluebell Action Project began in 2002.
* Identification of woodlands which have significant populations of bluebells.
* Conservation and woodland management activities.
* Liaison with the Local Ancient Semi-natural Broadleaved Woodland BAP Action Group.

Objectives, Targets and Actions

The objectives, targets and actions to help conserve bluebells in the Cheshire region can be found on the Biodiversity Action Reporting System (BARS) along with full details of our progress so far.

How to find out more about Bluebells

Plantlife - www.plantlife.org.uk
Cheshire Bluebell Action Project website

How can you get involved?

The Cheshire Bluebell LBAP Action Group are very active and are constantly looking for funding to continue bluebell conservation.
As part of this there are regular events and training days that you can become involved in as well as helping to survey woodlands for the native bluebell and send your records to RECORD.

For more details on getting involved in these events or in any of the other work being done for bluebells in Cheshire, please contact the Bluebell LBAP Action Group Chair.

Contact details
LBAP Lead Partners:
Cheshire Wildlife Trust, Mersey Forest, RECORD and Landlife
LBAP Chair:
Paul Oldfield
0151 4954093

References & Glossary
HMSO (1995): Biodiversity: The UK Steering Group Report, Volume 1: Meeting the Rio Challenge, London.
HMSO (1995): Biodiversity: The UK Steering Group Report, Volume 2:Action Plans, London.
Plantlife (2004): Bluebells for Britain – a report on the 2003 Bluebells for Britain survey.
Rodwell, J. and Patterson, G (1994): Bulletin 112: Creating New Native Woodlands, HMSO, London.