Bell Heather is found in a variety of harsh habitats including heathland, acidic soils, open woodland and even coastal areas. It particularly likes dry, well-drained soils. The dark purple-pink, bell-shaped flowers appear between July and September, carpeting heathlands and bringing them to life with the buzzing of nectar-loving bees and insects.
How to identify
Bell Heather is distinctive with its dark purple-pink, bell-shaped flowers forming clusters up the stem, and short, dark green needle-like leaves borne in whorls of three.
Where to find it
Found throughout the UK and Ireland with the exception of the East Midlands.
When to find it
How can people help
Purple-carpeted heaths are an iconic feature of the UK's landscape and are the result of hundreds of years of low-impact human activities such as livestock-grazing and scrub clearance. Yet development and the decline of traditional farming methods have caused many of these precious habitats to be lost - over 80% of lowland heathland in the UK has disappeared in just 200 years. The Wildlife Trusts manage many heathland habitats for the benefit of wildlife; by volunteering for your local Trust you can help too, and you'll make new friends and learn new skills along the way.