The inspiration for this section of my blog came after a conversation with one of my readers. I realised that I knew very little about the native species of orchid growing here in the UK; it highlighted a gap in my knowledge and sparked my interest. So, as a New Year’s resolution, I decided to find out more about the orchid species that are native to Britain.
In the beginning I wanted to know a few things about UK species:-
- how many native orchids does the UK have?
- where can they be found?
- do many people know about our species orchids?
As I began researching and expanding my knowledge, the list of questions grew:-
- are our native orchids under any conservation orders or projects, and if so, how can people get involved?
- how integral is the relationship between the orchid and its environment?
About Native British Orchids
According to the Natural History Museum there are 56 orchid species native to Britain and they grow in a variety of different environments; woodland, marshland and meadows, to name a few. Unfortunately, due to changes in climate, some of our native species are finding it harder to grow every year and their numbers are depleting. Orchid Observers have dedicated a piece of work to explore what environmental factors are affecting our orchids – click here to visit their website.
Where to find them…
Our native orchids grow in a variety of environments, which means that there are plenty of places to look for them. The Wildlife Trust published a guide highlighting what orchids can be found at their different sites, which you can find here. If you are lucky enough to spot orchids growing in their natural environment, please just observe and maybe take photographs – do not disturb or remove them.
The Hardy Orchid Society
“The Society’s aim is to promote interest in the study of native European Orchids and those from similar temperate climates throughout the world. The varied aspects covered include field study, cultivation and propagation, photography, taxonomy and systematics, and practical conservation.”
To find out more information on this orchid society you can visit their website. You can also search for your own local orchid society and find out from them whether there are any projects you could get involved in.
On my home page, you will find posts about any orchids I come across myself on my travels about the UK. I will do my best to add information about each type of orchid, so you can learn about them too.
My hope is that I can spread the word about our own species and help to ensure that our awareness of them increases, and their survival continues.
If you have any questions, please get in touch by using the ‘Contact’ page.