Swindon AdvertiserEarly flowering puts bluebells on show (From Swindon Advertiser)

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Early flowering puts bluebells on show

Swindon Advertiser: Bluebells are in bloom early this year Bluebells are in bloom early this year

BLUEBELLS are flowering much earlier than in last year’s cold Spring, with peak displays expected in time for Easter, the Woodland Trust has said.

The charity said nearly 200 records of native bluebells had been submitted to the Nature’s Calendar website, which asks the public to submit sightings of natural events which mark the changing seasons.

This time last year, just 43 records had been submitted, as the UK struggled to shake off cold weather.

The trust is expecting a much earlier average first flowering date for bluebells than last year, when the average date across the UK was May 5.

In West Woods, Lockeridge, near Marlborough, the Lions Club of Marlborough, is hosting its fundraising two Bluebell Sundays on April 27 and May 4.

Last year the Lions had to postpone the events because of the cold spring.

The Woodland Trust is calling for better protection of ancient woodland, one of the native bluebell’s key habitats, to give the plant the best chance of survival in the face of increasing threats from climate change, development and invasive species.

Woodland Trust director of conservation Austin Brady said: “Increased protection for all ancient woodland is vital.”

To record bluebell sightings, go to woodlandtrust.org.uk

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