'Daffodils', by William Wordsworth has been voted Britain's favourite poem while the bluebell is deservedly the nation's best loved wild flower, soon to delight us in all its glory.

There are few finer sights in nature than the elegant, fragrant drifts of pendulous hazy deep blue with perhaps a hint of mauve and occasionally white flowers carpeting beech woods, framed against a backdrop of freshly opened bright green foliage.

Sadly, the spectacle only lasts for a few short weeks before the tree canopy closes above thus restricting light.

My favourite time to see them is on a bright sunny morning when woodland butterflies including brimstones and the dainty orange-tip (pictured), flutter slowly from bluebell to bluebell supping nectar.

Brimstones are 'morning butterflies' and often retire to roost by mid-afternoon.

The plants can be damaged by trampling but badgers don't know that and line their setts with the soft leaves.

Our bluebell is only found in lands bordering the Atlantic.

Many years ago, before the plant became  a protected species, the white bulbs were used to make glue. They also contain starch which was used as an ingredient for stiffening fashionable ruffs, worn by elegant Elizabethan ladies.

I'm writing here about our genuine native bluebell, not the coarse thick straight-stemmed rather insipid blue Spanish variety that can be seen in gardens and parks and usually flowers first.