Heathland Restoration area at Offwell was cleared of woodland and Rhododendron in 1993. It was divided into a number of
longitudinal strips which are managed in different ways (Table). The different management
regimes were initiated in 1995.
When management was initiated, Bluebells covered extensive areas of
the project site, particularly in strips 1 - 4. Two of these four strips are brushcut in
the spring, soon after the bluebells have flowered, while two of the strips are cut in the
autumn. All the cuttings are removed from the area to prevent smothering of remaining
plants and enrichment of the soil through decay.
Sections 1 - 4 looking North-east
Ecological surveys of strips 1 - 4 for the years 1996 - 1998 suggested that Bluebells were declining in the strips
which were cut in the spring.
The theory that Bluebell numbers were lower in strips which were cut
in the spring, as opposed to those cut in the autumn, was tested by students of Axe Valley
Community College. The data was collected in the spring, seven years after the initiation
of the different management regimes in the strips.
Continue to data collection method here
Thanks are due to Dr
Wendy Graham and the Axe Valley Community College,
for permission to publish the raw data and follow-up