Jail and fine threat for picking 'wrong' flowers - dos and don'ts of a favourite pastime

Plucking a wild flower while out walking this spring could lead to a hefty fine or even jail sentence for nature loving Brits.

Thursday, 11th April 2019, 10:46 am
Updated Thursday, 11th April 2019, 10:49 am
Be careful when picking flowers

Horticultural experts from online retailer GardeningExpress.co.uk have warned that flower fans could face a run in with the law if they pick particular plants in restricted areas and issued a list of clear dos and don'ts for picking wildflowers.

Brits could face imprisonment or an eye-watering £5,000 fine if they pick daffodils or bluebells from forbidden areas this spring.

The laws regarding flower picking generally fall under two categories – legislation which is part of the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 and that which is under the Theft Act of 1968.

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The main difference is the distinction made between picking flowers that are growing wild, and picking flowers that have been purposely planted.

Flowers growing in council parks are legally off-limits, and the same goes for council-maintained displays on roundabouts, verges, nature reserves or protected land.


Pick flowers in public parks or community gardens

Pick flowers on National Trust property or nature reserves

Pick flowers from roundabouts, which are maintained by the council

Intentionally pick, uproot or destroy any plant without permission from the landowner or occupier

Pick any flower found on the Schedule 8 list of protected plants

Disturb wildlife within the area


Pick flowers which are not privately owned or critically endangered

Pick only one flower out of every 20

Pick flower from patches where there are lots of flowers, leaving plenty for others to enjoy

Leave a substantial amount of the plant to allow it to continue to grow