|Orchids at Eakring and Kersall|
|Agricultural farmland is
not the place one would expect to find Orchids. Many
sites throughout the county once hosted several species,
but have long since disappeared through combinations of
both agricultural practises and industrial development.
The Eakring and Kersall area is fortunate enough to boast two sites which hold three different species between them.
All growing Orchids here, are restricted to small areas of no more than 20 square metres in size, so the existing populations remain fragile.
Orchids found, are typical of those most commonly (but thinly) distributed throughout Nottinghamshire. Many of these growing at sites protected by the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust.
|Species growing, have
been identified as the following
Southern Marsh Orchid Dactylorhiza praetermissa (Right)
Common Spotted Orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii (Below)
Bee Orchid Ophrys apifera (Above)
Bee Orchids were found in 2000, in one area on the outskirts of Eakring village. There were numerous flower spikes that year, but a recent short search of the same site in June 2002, revealed fewer flowering plants. The same situation was found with the Southern Marsh-Orchid.
On the other hand, numbers of Common Spotted Orchid have increased this year, such is the annual variation in flowering Orchids.
|The Eakring village site
is very likely to be under severe threat from potential
housing development in the future and steps to inform the
appropriate conservation bodies will be undertaken, in an
effort to try and protect this valuable area.
Because of the scarce nature of these plants, the exact locations are not published and both sites are situated away from any public access points.
The possibility remains that other plants may begin to colonise and flower at other sites over the coming years, but it is likely that, unless afforded some specific protection at one site, these beautiful flowers will disappear quite soon.