Bid to keep wild moors daffs lonely as a cloud

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NATIONAL park workers in Yorkshire are undertaking a survey of wild daffodils to ensure colonies are not being infiltrated by invading domestic species.

Officials at the North York Moors National Park Authority are asking visitors and residents to help with the study which is aimed at establishing the extent of wild daffodil populations.

The research is focusing on the Rosedale area, but the authority is also planning to survey other well-populated areas to find out if garden daffodils are having a significant impact.

The Narcissus pseudonarcissus is the only wild daffodil species native to Britain although the garden variety is making its way into the countryside.

National park rangers have warned that there is now a growing risk that the garden species will hybridise with the wild daffodils.

The survey is aiming to categorise how densely the daffodils are growing, note how successful their flowering is and, by using photographs taken from the same key areas each year, look at the success of the wild species.

Wild daffodils grow mainly in partial shade in habitats such as woodlands, on riverbanks or in fields and grassland with clay or loam soils which are not too acidic, and these habitats are abundant in the Rosedale area of the national park.

True wild daffodils can be recognised from the more showy garden varieties and hybrids by their altogether smaller, but perfectly formed, appearance.

The national park is well-known for its stunning annual bursts of daffodils, especially in Farndale which attracts more than 50,000 visitors each year.

The national park authority will be running dedicated shuttle bus services in Farndale on Sundays from March 24 to April 14 and over the Easter weekend to cope with the number of tourists.

Anyone who wants to help with the daffodil survey can contact the national park authority’s conservation graduate trainee Alex Cripps by emailing a.cripps@northyorkmoors.org.uk or calling 01439 772700.

email paul.jeeves@ypn.co.uk