Wild daffodils (credit Emma Bradshaw)
In early spring the bright yellow nodding heads of daffodils start to appear along roadside verges, in parks and on roundabouts. But for real carpets of yellow flowers you need to head to the few remaining woods and meadows where wild daffodils grow in glorious profusion. Several Wildlife Trusts manage nature reserves where wild daffodils grow and here we list a few, including several in 'the Golden Triangle' - an area of north west Gloucestershire famous for its displays of wild daffodils.
Dunsford Nature Reserve (Devon Wildlife Trust)
Dunsford nature reserve is one of the best places to see daffodils in South West England. Coach loads of people used to come to the reserve to pick daffodils and the site became so popular that signs had to be put up asking people not pick daffodils.
Dunsford is still a great place to see wild daffodils and this year there are Devon Wildlife Trust events on 17 and 31 March to see the daffodils.
Oysters Coppice Nature Reserve (Wiltshire Wildlife Trust)
Wild daffodils grow in this ancient woodland nature reserve overlooking the Vale of Wardour, near Shaftesbury. Other flowers of interest here include the rare opposite leaved golden saxifrage and the town clock flower.
Betty Daw's Wood (Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust)
Betty Daw's Wood nature reserve is an ancient woodland, and is widely known for its spectacular display of wild daffodils. It also contains a wealth of other plants and animals. Old hazel coppice dominates the shrub layer, provided a good habitat for the common dormouse, wood anemone, bittervetch, wood-sorrel and bluebell.
Stocking Springs Wood (Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust)
Nestled amongst the wooded estates of central Hertfordshire, this small hornbeam wood is a beautiful example of traditional coppice management and hosts a wonderful display of wild daffodils in the spring, along with bluebells, wood anemones and wood violets. Oak trees amongst the hornbeam provide nesting for great spotted woodpeckers, nuthatches and treecreepers.
Gwen & Vera's Fields (Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust)
Gwen & Vera's Fields nature reserve is less than a mile away from Betty Daw's nature reserve, and although very small, this is managed to conserve one of the few remaining wild daffodil meadows in north west Gloucestershire.
Vell Mill (Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust)
Vell Mill nature reserve is predominantly managed as a wild daffodil meadow, although other species such as cowslip, hoary plantain, common dog-violet and meadow vetchling can also be found here.
Ketford Banks (Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust)
Ketford Banks nature reserve is a small and steep, sandy bank, famous for its display of wild daffodils. The Trust acquired the site in 2010 and much removal of scrubby species including bracken has been undertaken to encourage the wild daffodils to thrive.
Coed y Bwl (Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales)
Coed y Bwl is famous for its daffodil displays. Last year the wood and its volunteers were highly commended in the Vale of Glamorgan Biodiversity Partnership’s Awards for Wildlife. The prime conservation target has been to save Coed-y-Bwl’s locally-rare wild daffodil population in the wake of Dutch elm disease which ravaged the wood over thirty years ago.
Llandefaelog Wood (Brecknock Wildlife Trust)
A good-sized patch of wild daffodils grow in Llandefaelog Wood nature reserve, near Brecon, although they are not normally in flower until late March.