Call me a sentimental old fool if you like, but I do think that no woodland is complete without some bluebells! When we plant new woods we need to think of all the herbs and shrubs as well as the trees and it is always a delight in spring to see the bluebells.
Sometimes I thin out big clumps of our wild bluebells, then separate out all the individual bulbs and immediately re-plant them in the new woods. This can be done almost any time and is very successful. They soon come back thicker and thicker each year, spreading through new bulbs and by shaking out their pepper pot seeds.
Another way to do it, slightly more legally, is to collect the seed heads while still green, just before they turn brown. Then leave them in the sun for a few days and they turn brown, brittle and ripe. Then it is a simple matter to rub them between your hands and the seeds come out. There is no need to winnow them; the fragments of seed cases can be spread with the seed. They can be sown onto bare ground and lightly raked over, and then just forgotten. A little scratching of the soil here and there along the woodland rides is enough to sow them and get little clumps started. All our bluebells are the native species and flourish on the farm. It is an easy thing to do on an evening’s walk, to give them a helping hand.