The Lake District is renowned for its bluebell woods which are at their most spectacular in May. Up to 50% of the world’s population of bluebells are found in the UK and they are now a protected species.
Here's some interesting bluebell folklore:
- The first bluebells are believed to have appeared in Britain after the last Ice Age
- Bluebells are also known as ‘fairy flowers’. It was believed that fairies used bluebells to trap passers by.
Did you know?
- In the Bronze Age feathers were stuck on arrows with glue made from bluebells.
- The biggest threats to bluebells are habitat loss and uprooting of the bulbs for gardens. Bluebells are protected under law in UK. If you dig up and sell a wild bluebell you can be fined £5000 per bulb!
- The bulbs produce an extremely sticky substance which was once used to stick the pages in books and the feathers on arrows.
- It takes at least five years for a seed to grow into a bulb, and the bulbs can remain dormant for up to 100 years.
- Bluebells are an important early food flower for bees, hoverflies and butterflies which feed on nectar.
- Bluebell plants are poisonous. The chemical that makes them poisonous was used in alchemy and is being researched by modern day scientists for medical use.
Where are the best places to see bluebells in the Lakes?
And finally, the last word goes to Emily Bronte:
‘The Bluebell is the sweetest flower
That waves in summer air:
Its blossoms have the mightiest power
To soothe my spirit’s care.’
Feeling inspired? Why not find a holiday cottage nearby so you can see the iconic splendour for yourself.