Friday, 6 April 2012

Drought conditions playing havoc with bluebell season

Bluebells will be best in north of England, smelliest in the south
April 2012. Visitors to woodlands will have to get out quick to enjoy the seasonal show of bluebells as experts from the National Trust predict that they will have a short season this year, thanks to the exceptionally dry start to 2012.
As a consequence of the third warmest and the fifth driest March on record, bluebells are likely to peak for most of the UK over the Easter weekend, Friday 6 April - Monday 9 April.
Smaller and smellier
The low winter rainfall means that bluebells could be smaller and less abundant this year, but the dry conditions could mean that those bluebells that do emerge will be-well scented.
Matthew Oates, a Naturalist for the National Trust, said: "The warm and dry weather of the last few weeks has sped up the flowering process for bluebells, but the absence of rain means that visitors will need to be quick to see them - it could be a short but sweet season for bluebells, and other classic spring plants like the primrose.
"The bluebell starts growing in January with its sole purpose to flower before the other woodland plants but in dry conditions the bluebell will flower less, will be less abundant and its growth will be stunted.
Best displays will be in the north
"Easter weekend looks set to be the peak time to see bluebells in the south of England but this will vary depending on aspect and altitude. The best displays will be further north, on high ground and on north-facing slopes that flower later."

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