Spanish bluebells

Planting a million bulbs will brighten our valley – but please take a moment to consider the impact of non-native species.

Of particular concern is the provenance of the bluebells. True English ones are under threat from the Spanish bluebell, which is the bulb more likely to be available at retail outlets. The two species hybridise readily, producing vigorous offspring.

What is lost? That unique genetic fingerprint – gone forever is the perfume, hue and delicacy of our native English plant – the very characteristics that have inspired us for centuries. Sidmouth should be in the vanguard to promote the plant of our poets.

Please also spare a thought for the flamboyant six-spot burnet moth at Jacob’s Ladder.

The slopes there are carpeted with wild flowers supporting a thriving population of these moths, which delight in midsummer.

W Moore

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