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Keep To Path To Protect Bluebells

We're being asked to keep to the paths in Bluebell Wood to save the delicate flower, under threat from trampling and non-native species.

Many islanders enjoy and appreciated the stunning seasonal display in Bluebell Woods, but there is a risk of it being diminished.

Agriculture, Countryside and Land Management Services says the number of bluebells is declining.

Mainly, they are struggling against the dominant 'stinking onion'  - the white flowered Allium triquetrum.

They come out earlier than the bluebells, getting a head start on the native plants.

ACLMS says the bluebell is also very sensitive to trampling and soil compaction  - so any footsteps over the plant will damage new shoots and could prevent the bulbs from regenerating, affecting next year's flowering too.

The message is not to stray from the paths to take photos.

"This creates bare ground and introduces seed which accelerates the spread of the invasive Allium directly into new areas of bluebell so that in time these dominant groups of bluebells may well be lost." - ACLMS

Work is being done to make the paths obvious, and information signs are being put up.

Bluebell coverage is being measures and monitored.

"It one of those really special places in the island that people go to each spring to enjoy the bluebells.

It would be a shame if we had areas that were starting to not recover.

We have photos that go back 20 years and it used to be almost a pure blue floor of the woods  What you see now is patches, so we are losing that really strong visual effect of the bluebells.

We are hopeful that small changes can make a big difference. This spring, visitors to the wood are being reminded what they can do to help protect the bluebells. So, we are asking people to stay on the designated path, keep dogs under control, and especially not to walk amongst the bluebells.” Francis Russell, Invasive Non-Native Species Policy & Coordination Officer

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