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Bluebell Fraud

April 16, 2017

By Paul Homewood


h/t QV




The Woodland Trust are apparently spreading this fraudulent fake news:


Carpets of bluebells in woodlands are a much-loved sign of spring, but the flowers could struggle as the climate changes, a study suggests.

Researchers analysed hundreds of thousands of ‘citizen science’ records of the changing seasons to help predict the impacts of warming temperatures on 22 species of plants and trees found in the UK countryside.

Spring plants have an optimum time for coming into leaf and flower which gives them the best chance to grow and reproduce, but with rising temperatures caused by global warming that time is likely to shift.

Some plants such as bluebells may not be flexible enough to keep up with the shift in spring, and may suffer as a result, the research suggests.


Bluebells are, according to Wikipedia, a very climate tolerant plant, flourishing all the way up from Spain:


Hyacinthoides non-scripta (formerly Endymion non-scriptus or Scilla non-scripta) is a bulbous perennial plant, found in Atlantic areas from north-western Spain to the British Isles, and also frequently used as a garden plant.

The idea that it is going to die out because of a barely noticeable increase in temperature is the sort of fraudulent junk science commonly propagated by eco -nuts.



One of the claims is that bluebells cannot keep up with the rate of climate change. Yet a quick look at the Met Office’s data for Spring temperatures shows us that there is no such thing as “normal”. Temperatures have fluctuated wildly from year to year since records began. And as anyone who has a garden will know, plants react just as they no doubt have for millennia.


England Mean temperature - Spring


BBC watchers will not be surprised to learn that, according to QV, BBC Breakfast have latched onto this latest news as evidence that we are all going to die!

  1. Kevin McArdle permalink
    April 16, 2017 11:27 pm

    Having had the benefit of looking after one of the most abundant bluebell woods in the British Isles in recent years, fortunately not under the steely supervision of the environmentally good natured, but hopelessly myopic,Woodland Trust, I can confirm that the current spring crop are a complete disaster. A disaster, that is, for those half wits who believe that ‘man made’ global warming/climate change’ is a death knell for one of our most common species of wild flower. Our current crop has never been so abundant or healthy. Over the past 5 years we have varied from Easter temp highs of 25C down to -7C, the par for the course being somewhere boringly in between, as it has been for decades, and there has been little variation in flowering times or plant health. Precipitation and wind are also very important factors in the emergence of juvenile flowers. Bluebells are extremely hardy plants and cope very well with sudden temperature changes. Our bluebells are obviously seriously ‘off message’, as are the bluebells in the Woodland Trust reserve just down the road from me where, it looks like, another bumper crop are just about to bloom! Must be the weather.

    • April 17, 2017 9:55 am

      The approach of the Woodland Trust seems to be highly focused on planting trees. The metric of number of trees planted is all over their lit and that of their corporate partners.

      The way to make a woodland to some folks is by buying an arable field in the middle of nowhere and planting 10,000 whips. The ecological alternative would be to buy a field next to an ancient woodland and do… nothing. Just let nature take its course. Marvellous thing, nature.

  2. martinbrumby permalink
    April 17, 2017 2:22 am

    One of the little gems embroidered into the Beeb’s tapestry of lies and incompetence was to suggest that bluebells grow in “ancient woodland” and that they are precisely an indicator of “ancient woodland”.
    If the trees in this photo or in the Beeb’s shots are ancient, my name is Methuselah.
    If bluebells can survive being picked in huge armfulls by gangs of people, to be sold at the local market, as they were thirty years ago, I doubt that a fraction of a degree of ‘climate change’ is going to give the bluebells an attack of the vapours.


    • David Ashton permalink
      April 17, 2017 2:02 pm

      Absolutely agree with you Martin. I looked after an elderly relatives garden for a number of years. Bluebells had encroached on a border from a neighboring embankment. Aunt Ida asked me to get rid of them. Every year I dug out all i could find but they just kept growing. If only I’d known to keep them just a little bit warmer.

  3. John F. Hultquist permalink
    April 17, 2017 3:17 am

    So, we are not into blue — will yellow do?

    Ours is just now in bloom — temperature went to just below freezing early this morning.
    The link has a map of where these have been seen; from southern B.C. to northern California.
    Seems your Blues and our Yellows will thrive in many different environments.

    Eco-nuts just make stuff up.

  4. Maggy Wassilieff permalink
    April 17, 2017 4:22 am

    Bluebells have made themselves here at home throughout most of NZ. They can be found growing and spreading at sites where garden waste has been dumped from Auckland (winter av 11C-summer av 20C) southwards.

    • Annie permalink
      April 18, 2017 5:29 am

      There are lots of bluebells in Victoria (Aus) too, including a great lot that appeared where we used to have a wattle tree and which was removed to allow more room for other trees. We had a bonfire on its site and then the bluebells appeared, unfortunately more like the Spanish type than the English. They are very different; the English one is daintier with a slenderer stem that is purplish near its top and the flowers hang in bell-like fashion from one side of the crooked stem and are a deeper, very pretty violet blue colour and wonderfully perfumed. The Spanish ones are sturdier with upright thick pale green stems with flowers a lighter blue and not so well-perfumed and arranged all round the top of the stem.

      • Annie permalink
        April 18, 2017 5:34 am

        I should have added that temperatures here can vary between -5C and 40C or more, like the mid forties just before the Black Saturday fires. All bluebells in our garden survived, as did roses, apple and pear trees, linden and oak trees and much more. We were fortunate that the fires stopped short of our place but we certainly had the heat.

        The last two summers have been rather cool, we never quite made it to 40C either year.

  5. April 17, 2017 6:00 am

    Bluebells also grow in the open along the south coast – they don’t need woodland to thrive.

    It is no surprise that the BBC latches on to this fake news story. Here is another “science” editor giving full propaganda time to the usual eco-nuts:
    Let’s see who they list amongst the eco-nuts:
    WWF, the Born Free Foundation, Cafod, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Oxfam, Andy Murray, Anna Friel (who?), Will Young, Lord Stuart Rose and Sir Crispin Tickell.

    • quaesoveritas permalink
      April 17, 2017 2:02 pm

      In it’s reporting on this, BBC News interviewed the WWF “Head of Climate and Engergy”, Gareth Redmond-King, who made the following two claims.
      1. Two thirds of British people are concerned about climate change.
      2. When asked what concerned them most, 80% said wildlife and nature.
      Does anyone know the source of these claims?

    • Annie permalink
      April 18, 2017 5:38 am

      Bluebells grow in large patches in the open on the west side of the Malvern Hills. I took photos of them a few years ago. There are lots of bluebell woods in Gloucestershire and massed bluebells in a place not far from Leyburn in the Yorkshire Dales too. I forget its name but it’s very pretty.

      • Annie permalink
        April 20, 2017 1:13 am

        Thorp Perrow Arboretum near Bedale.

      • Annie permalink
        April 20, 2017 1:14 am

        Well worth a visit if you are in the area.

  6. AlecM permalink
    April 17, 2017 8:09 am

    The Greenies are desperately scanning environmental science for anything they can bend to support their climate fraud.

    Perhaps we should put a 10 year delay on all such papers, or a similar analysis by independent people?

    • nigel permalink
      April 17, 2017 8:31 am

      Meanwhile, in the actual world (as opposed to the “could, might, should, world,” tropical cyclone energy continues to be conspicuous by its absence:


    • nigel permalink
      April 17, 2017 8:46 am

      They have got obsessive-compulsive disorder, associated with hyper-vigilance condition, and are trying to pass on these illnesses – quite successfully, actually.

  7. MrGrimNasty permalink
    April 17, 2017 8:46 am

    A lot of the bluebells you see (especially in gardens/the open) are not the native English ones, but thuggish Spanish ones which rapidly become weeds.

    The natives are a little more delicate and fussy, but as for threats, temperature changes don’t even figure – like most spring flowers they are wildly adaptable – they have to be!

    Hybridization, careless harvesting of woods for biomass, ripping up woods for housing a population swelled by immigration, illegal harvesting for sale, too much foot traffic, wild boar(?), risk of pest and diseases from poor border bio-control of the commercial plant industry etc. etc. are real potential issues.

  8. Harry Passfield permalink
    April 17, 2017 9:04 am

    We’ve been inundated with calls for ‘citizen scientists’ to go and observe bluebell woods. The implication given in the ‘call’ is that because of CC they want to see if bluebells are being affected. When the ‘citizen scientists’ find a small change/whatever they immediately blame it on CC. A clear-cut case of ‘Post hoc ergo propter hoc’. But I don’t expect a journalist on the Metro will know what that means.
    In any case, as a person who looks after a few gardens, I can say that this Spring, apart from one glorious weekend, has been pretty cold and dry. Roll on CC, I say.

  9. Mike Jackson permalink
    April 17, 2017 9:46 am

    Well, our bluebells are doing fine here in southern Burgundy. In fact this year’s are probably the best we have had.

    The only way that climate change might be affecting them is if we have too few winter frosts. We had a couple of minus-nines and a minus-eight in January, much the coldest since 2012, and there are quite a few plants (including some of the commune’s roadside shrubs) that look as if they might have benefited. (Also I haven’t – yet – had to start the annual war against the blackfly. Long may that last!)

    I don’t know how much is an old wives’ tale but I have always understood that a few sharp frosts are good for a lot of plants because it forces them to shut down properly rather than spend the winter only half-asleep. If there is any truth in that then it won’t be “global warming” that deprives us of bluebells but our own 24/7 lifestyle that seems to be boosting the UHI and so the minimum temps

    Incidentally and totally off-topic, Matt Ridley’s Times article this morning quotes a German MEP who seems to have discovered that the EU actually pays NGOs to lobby the EU. I’m shocked, I tell you!

    • Ex-expat Colin permalink
      April 17, 2017 1:32 pm

      True of Daffs (Narcissus). If you want Daffs for Xmas place them in a fridge 3 months before the festivities. Keep separate and dry. A month before Xmas pot up in a warm/light conservatory or similar. I suspect this cycling procedure is the same for most bulbs. I have forced Daffs this way so short circuiting nature…a bit.

  10. quaesoveritas permalink
    April 17, 2017 10:35 am

    Thanks for posting this Paul.
    I don’t recall any discussion of the article itself at the time.
    It seems to have gone largely unnoticed.

  11. BLACK PEARL permalink
    April 17, 2017 12:19 pm

    Everything one is told by ‘experts’ (across the board), ‘scientists say’ (a favourite first line) media & politicians now seems to be complete BS … or has it always been this peddling agenda way !

    • dave permalink
      April 17, 2017 1:07 pm

      IMO, “economics/politics/religion” has been agenda-driven BS for a LONG time.
      In the UK, it started in the 19th Century, with the unholy alliance of the ruling upper-class and the urban working-class against the impertinent, rising, middle class. A flood of unthinking, sub-Marxist, grievance politics was created. The political conflicts resulted in a sort of compromise, whereby the middle class ruled in the sphere of morality, but never rose to be a proper, secure, bourgeoise. The flood of irrational masochism continues – pouring through one institution after another, for there are no real bulwarks. There is money to be made, moreover, as a skilfull surfer of these trends.

  12. April 17, 2017 2:01 pm

    I believe it is the thieves digging up the Bluebell bulbs to sell which are doing a lot of damage. Apparently, they have practically stripped some woods of this plant.

    Also, the Spanish Bluebell appears to propagate with the English Bluebell and some of my English Bluebells are showing signs of mixed parentage now.

    But, of course, everything is down to Global warming now. Funny how they changed that name to Climate Change after records showed that the world had not warmed up for more than 15 years.

  13. CheshireRed permalink
    April 17, 2017 2:23 pm

    Just another technique to spin out the AGW story, this time by claiming AGW is damaging something that everybody likes and nobody could possibly dislike. (Who is ‘opposed’ to beautiful ancient woods or the harmless little bluebell?) There’s ZERO evidence spring is breaking in any meaningful way differently to centuries past. Fake climate news from the hopelessly biased BBC.

  14. quaesoveritas permalink
    April 17, 2017 3:14 pm

    I requested a link to the actual research and this is what I was sent.
    One thing which puzzles me is that it is dated April 15th. 2010, so I don’t know why it didn’t appear in the Metro until this February.

    • quaesoveritas permalink
      April 17, 2017 3:15 pm

      Sorry, should read January 5th. 2010, not April 15th.

  15. Athelstan permalink
    April 17, 2017 3:44 pm

    It is, just a load of bluebells!

    Climate zoids R us – only at al beeb, though, Sky and ITN: not so far behind.

    A constant, agonizing Chinese water torture drip, drip, drip feed of speciously targeted greenwash, man made alarmist fake news propaganda, these fucking weasels must be on some special bonus. Greenspite, either, a greenie points ladder where those who tell most porkies get a ‘prize’, maybe to wash the feet of the director general for a week or, some very generous monetary extra at the end of the year………………what a job, what a shower, it’s not like working for a living either…and exes and pension pot only the proles can dream on!

    Aye, thank tony bliar, thank george soros, thank the Berlin empire, but actually thank the westminster muppets who signed us all up to the most infamous unilateral suicide note in all the history of the Occident – Milibands’ ‘2008 Climate Change Act – and its truly all our own ‘representatives’ doing.

  16. rckkrgrd permalink
    April 17, 2017 3:49 pm

    I have started a blog page dedicated to outrageous, ridiculous, misleading and fraudulent headlines about science topics.
    Would appreciate nominations.

  17. April 17, 2017 6:25 pm

    1 year ago on a foraging course, the guide told us how Spanish bluebells were displacing English Bluebells!

    English Bluebells droop humbly and smell sweet.

    Spanish Bluebells stand erect and smell foul…

    And like the remainiacs.. they’re ignoring #Brexit

  18. Casey permalink
    April 18, 2017 3:14 pm

    Every time I read an “anthropogenic” scam story… i see the words “might have”, “could be”, and similar…

    You just KNOW it’s all meaningless conjecture, propaganda… scare words for the mindless media dogs to grab and run off with.

    The truth of the matter is that an extended summer is likely (yes, using the same type of words) to extend the flowering times and the propagation times – so the plants will flourish, not die out.

    And (here’s a “definite wording”) – increased CO2 means increased plant growth and strength; less “CO2 starvation”.

  19. John Fuller permalink
    April 19, 2017 4:10 pm

    In Hampshire this year the bluebell woods look as glorious as ever. In over thirty years I haven’t seen any change.

  20. April 20, 2017 1:36 am

    Could…. the list of could’s is endless.

  21. quaesoveritas permalink
    April 20, 2017 5:44 am

    I asked Steve Marsh if he agreed with the apocalyptic/alarmist headline:

    “Bluebell woods in danger of being wiped out by climate change”

    His response was:

    “We don’t have control over the headlines the media use, but sometimes to get an issue discussed, demonstrating the extreme can be a way if doing so.”

    Along with a lot of other alarmists, he doesn’t seem to think there is anything wrong in this.
    He doesn’t seem to realise that “crying wolf” is destroying their reputation.

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