An English spring wouldn't be the same without our much-loved bluebells (the Woodland Trust even launched a bluebell song and music video this year). To re-establish greater numbers of native bluebells in the local area, The Mersey Forest Team has been taking part in the Cheshire Bluebell Recovery Project.
The Cheshire Bluebell Recovery Project was set up in direct response to the decline of one of our most beautiful woodland wildflowers, due to habitat loss and bulbs being dug up for sale. Volunteers from the project propagate native bluebell bulbs from seed, to be planted in community woodlands across the local area. The process can take up to seven years, and the first bulbs are now ready to be planted.
This May, The Mersey Forest assessed the best local sites in which to plant the native bulbs, and made contact with local communities who will plant the bulbs this autumn with partners. The chosen sites are:
Blacon Nature Park, Chester
Caldy Nature Park, Chester
Dukes Drive Woodland, Chester
Hunters Wood, Kingsley
Murdishaw Woods, Runcorn
Thorn Wood, Weaverham
Town Hall Park Woodland, Runcorn
Maps were prepared to show the best locations at each site to plant the bulbs, away from any instances of hybrid bluebells - created by cross-breeding with the non-native Spanish Bluebell.
The project has been led by Cheshire Wildlife Trust and has received funding through WREN, the Linley Shaw Foundation, The Mersey Forest and Cheshire West and Chester Council. Further partners in the Bluebell Recovery Project include RECORD and Halton Borough Council.
To find out more about the Cheshire Bluebell Recovery Project visit www.record-lrc.co.uk.