Heath lies towards the
north of Stanmore Common. 20 years ago
it was a single open area
of grassland and wild flowers. Since then scrub and
woodland invaded the area,
so by 2012 it comprised a series of isolated glades. Ecologically this
situation was dangerous, since each small parcel of grassland supported
only a small population of plants and invertebrates such that random
year to year variation in population could cause local extinction.
New Heath, to the northwest of Bluebell Heath, showed us what was possible. An area where trees were already dead, killed by a small forest fire, was scraped of leaf litter to reveal the underlying stony glacial beds and then sown with heather seeds brought in from Hounslow Heath 20 km to the southeast.The heather grew well and now flowers profusely in late summer.
The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded the Harrow Nature Conservation Forum £38,400 towards the cost of restoring the remainder of the historic open area of Bluebell Heath.