Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Bloomin’ orchids defy records

Orchids have been flourishing across the UK, including the chalky grasslands of Bedfordshire.

At Houghton Regis Chalk Pit, Bedfordshire, reserve officers counted more than 700 common-spotted, around 140 pyramidal and three bee orchids.

It seems are thriving not only on protected nature reserves but also in the wider countryside and even gardens, reports the press.

This summer, pyramidal and common-spotted orchids have generally arrived several weeks late, which suggests recent weather has provided more suitable conditions as the season has developed.

More than 600 greater butterfly orchids have been counted at Caeau Llety Cybi reserve in Ceredigion, Wales, double the number recorded in 2010.

A musk orchid (pictured) was noted at Malling Down nature reserve, the first time the species was recorded at the Sussex Wildlife Trust site in seven years.

The fragrant orchid has reappeared at Ancaster Valley, Lincolnshire, flowering for the first time since 2004, while Flamborough Cliffs in Yorkshire have seen a huge and unexpected increase in northern marsh orchids.

In Dereham, Norforlk Wildlife Trust conservation officers counted so many common-spotted orchids that they have advised the town council to recognise the area as a county wildlife site.

According to reports, some species flower just once a number of years after germinating, and so "flushes" this year indicate suitable conditions for them in previous years, such as the wet ground last year. Other orchids can take a rest year from flowering before blooming for several years in a row.