Help charity track bluebell flowering

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PEOPLE are being urged to find their nearest wood and record the first appearance of native bluebells.

The appeal has been launched by the Woodland Trust in Northamptonshire, as it tracks the flowers blooming across the county this spring.

The conservation charity’s Visit Woods project will investigate whether the mild winter and short, sharp cold spell in early February affects flowering dates.

Gayle Wharton, Visit Woods project manager, said: “The native bluebell is the quintessential British sign of spring and we need the public to visit woodlands and discover when they are appearing so we can track their arrival.

“They are mainly found in ancient woodland, so if you do see them you know you are likely to be in one of our rarest habitats as it covers just two per cent of the country’s land mass, and is our equivalent of the rainforest.”

The average flowering date last year was April 12 but experts are keen to discover the effects on the flowering of spring species by recent weather.

To find a bluebell wood go to www.visitwoods.org.uk/bluebells.