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ForestHarvest: non-timber forest products in Scotland

GATHERING - Harvesting Guidelines

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The Scottish Bulb Collection Code

This guidance was created by a group representing the interests of conservation organisations, land managers and bulb harvesters and buyers. The creation of the guidance was funded by Scottish Enterprise, the Forestry Commission, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Forestry Trust.

General harvesting guidelines

The key guidelines are available as an A5 leaflet (see opposite). Or you can read the guidelines text here.

More bulb facts:

Conservation

The species most threatened by overharvesting of bulbs in the UK just now is the wild hyacinth, or bluebell.

Plantlife provide information about the threats to bluebells, and suggestions for action, on their website.

Flora Locale's guidance note on "Types of native planting stock" includes information about problems associated with wild harvesting of bulbs in continental Europe.

Identifying bulbs

Click here to download Plantlife's "Bluebells of Britain" leaflet (PDF file, 457KB). As well information about bluebell identification, this leaflet provides an introduction to native bluebells and how you can help protect them. It deals with illegal harvesting, the threat from Spanish bluebells, and advice for gardeners.

Click here to try Plantlife's interactive guide to identifying bluebells.

Legalities of bulb harvesting

ForestHarvest's Legal and access issues section provides information about the legal situation concerning both domestic and commercial harvesting of wild products in Scotland, including bulbs.

It is illegal to harvest bluebell bulbs for sale, because they are listed in Section 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act. There are just a handful of exceptions to this, where licences have been issued to allow harvesting in specified locations, in conditions which meet strict sustainability criteria.

Sourcing native bulbs

Flora Locale have produced an advisory note which gives general advice on "Buying native flora" (PDF file 664KB).

The ForestHarvest business directory includes suppliers who harvest bulbs on a long-term basis from specified areas of Scotland.

Click here for more information about the bulb trade in Scotland.

Photo - woodland carpeted with bluebells
The Scottish Bulb Collection Code is available as an A5 leaflet:
Thumbnail image of the Scottish Bulb Collection Code leaflet - click on the image to view a larger version

Download the Scottish Bulb Collection Code leaflet (PDF file 182KB)

Copies of the leaflet are available from:

Dr Dave Genney
Scottish Natural Heritage
Great Glen House
Leachkin Road
Inverness
IV3 8NW

Tel: 01463 725253

Or click here to email Dave Genney

This code was created by a group representing the interests of conservation organisations, land managers and bulb harvesters and buyers.

The creation of the guidance was funded by Scottish Enterprise, the Forestry Commission, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Forestry Trust.

logos of the funders of the Scottish Bulb Collection Code: Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission Scotland, the Scottish Forestry Trust and Scottish Enterprise