18 MAY 1929, Page 15


The most wholesale onslaught on a wild flower that I actually saw in progress was over some low meadows where the snakeshead fretillary flourishes. On the road, as we drew near, we met people with armfuls of fretillaries, and by a gate which gave access—though not legalized access—to the meadows were cars and bicycles belonging to the gatherers whom we presently sighted. Though rather wholesale, that particular poaching does not do much harm. The meadows are spacious and the flowers find their botanical optimum, the conditions that of all others best suit them. They grow in multitude sufficient to defy the army that attacks them. Rarer flowers may be utterly destroyed, and we certainly need stiff by-laws that make it an offence to uproot or pick without leave ; and one would like to see certain flowers put on the protected list as plovers are among birds. The South Africans are paling off flower reserves or sanctuaries, and we might do the same.