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Late showing from Lake District’s daffodils

Cumbria's tourism season has kicked off in earnest – but one vital ingredient is missing.

Daffodils photo
Daffodils next to Ullswater

The county’s famous daffodils are in hiding.

Our ‘Ice Age’ winter has meant the golden perennials, made famous by William Wordsworth, are more than a month late in blooming.

Gardening magazine Horticultural Week says it represents the latest daffodil bloom in 30 years.

The shortage has prompted Cumbria Tourism to launch a ‘Daffs Watch’ appeal.

People who spot the flowers are being urged send an email to or leave a message on website Twitter.

Eric Robson, chairman of Cumbria Tourism and the presenter of BBC Radio Four’s Gardener’s Question Time, said: “It’s virtually unheard of not to have seen a single daffodil in the Lake District by the middle of March.

“It’s an industry of its own with visitors coming here just to see them by the lake sides. The upside is that because they are late, it means they should be out and looking their best for the Easter holidays.”

A favourite haunt for daff-spotters is usually Dora’s Field, next to St Mary’s Church in Rydal, near Ambleside. The field was named after Wordsworth’s daughter Dora, who died in 1847 and is usually adorned with thousands of daffodils by this time in March.

There are said to be plenty of daffodils in the field, but no signs yet of any blooming.

At Ullswater, which inspired Wordsworth’s most famous poem, there also few signs of life.

Meanwhile, the last surviving relative of the Cockermouth-born literary giant – great-great-great grand-daughter Susan Wordsworth Andrew who lives in Oxford – is in Cumbria tomorrow.

She will be at Rydal Mount, Rydal, for the launch of a new book Walking with Wordsworth, by Norman and June Buckley.

Wordsworth lived at Rydal Mount for 37 years until his death in April 1850.

Do you know where daffodils are growing? Tell us below...

Have your say

Dorothy Wordsworth wrote about the daffodils she and William saw, on the banks of Ullswater, on 15th April 1802. This diary entry probably reminded William of the sight and prompted him to write 'I wandered lonely as a cloud' about two years later. So they are not late at all and we expect them to bloom bang on time.

Posted by Paul Kleian on 24 March 2010 at 18:18

I noticed the flowers are starting to open near Morton, at long last!!

Posted by Ryan Wain on 20 March 2010 at 23:47

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