The Woodland Trust Scotland’s warning that the long-term survival of bluebells is at risk because of people seeking out the most spectacular displays, then trampling all over them, says something about human nature.
We are attracted to the beauty of the natural world, but have a tendency to be careless with it, failing to realise that if our actions are repeated by numerous others the effect could be profound.
And so we blithely throw down a blanket for a picnic in the midst of a spectacular display of bluebells without really thinking about the plants that will be crushed or perhaps believing there are so many that a few losses won’t really matter.
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But humans are now so numerous in the world that actions which seem fairly harmless become harmful by repetition. A similar effect can be seen on mountains popular with hillwalkers as many feet create significant erosion.
The UK has a particular responsibility when it comes to bluebells, as half of all the world’s population is found here.
If we end up helping to destroy such a beautiful flower through sheer thoughtlessness, we will regret it.