Sometimes it’s easy to take the most important things for granted. It’s been a dozen years since we were selected as a reintroduction site for the UK’s rarest wildflower, the Lady’s Slipper orchid. Since then we have been privileged to be part of a successful conservation story, playing a small but hugely satisfying part in helping the orchids to slowly establish themselves and to thrive. The two weeks when the orchids flower marks an important milestone in the year and is as eagerly anticipated as any celebration.
One of the greatest joys is to welcome so many visitors to our nature reserve, many of them plant-lovers for whom seeing the Lady’s Slipper orchid is a lifetime’s ambition. A recent visitor has written a lovely account of the orchid and its miraculous escape from extinction in this week’s Country Diary in the Guardian, which you can read here.
The Lady’s Slipper orchids on our reserve are now approaching the end of their flowering period for another year. We’ll be counting down the days until their unfurl their vivid slippers again.