It is bluebell time in English woods, one of my favourite moments of the year. It is always a great thrill of pleasure to see that unearthly blue glow under the young green of the trees.
Recently the English bluebell has become an endangered species, owing to the introduction of the Spanish bluebell, an invasive species, which is hybridising the native flower. The English version (naturally!) is more beautiful and much more scented, and is what we have been used to seeing in our woods for centuries. Below is the true English bluebell.
This is the Spanish version:
It would be a huge pity to lose our native bluebells, but it will probably eventually happen, as the hybrids are strong and able to thrive in many more environmental conditions.
I am concerned that England as a nation is fast disappearing, our nationality subsumed in "Britishness", while Britishness itself is disappearing into the European Union. I am interested in "Englishness" as it used to be - not nationalistic, but patriotic, without making too much of a fuss about it. We are English and should be proud of it.