Monday, 16 April 2018

Upgrading the Protection for a Rare Orchid

Near to Kidlington, there is a lone lizard orchid by the roadside, discovered some years ago by Christopher Hoskin a stalwart of the Ashmolean Natural History Society, remarkably from just the leaf rosette (I definitely would not have recognised it in this way).  Quite how and why it is there is a mystery as the nearest location of any other plants is several miles away.

The road is not busy but sitting on the verge only around 1 metre from the carriageway there is a risk that a car might pull off and damage it.   The verge has been regularly cut, because it is near commercial buildings, and in past years there has been a stout cage over it with warning tape wrapped around the cage - not entirely enhancing the enjoyment of this amazing plant.

Not anymore.  There are now two stout 4 x 4 posts guarding the plant, presumably erected by Oxfordshire County Council ,who I think have responsibility. 

This plant is on Schedule 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981 and therefore has the maximum level of legal protection so quite how many people and organisations were involved in the erection of these posts, it's best not to speculate.   Nevertheless a good job done and I am a little happier this year in paying my council tax.

50 yards further on there was a bee orchid rosette and some muscari, probably M. armeniacum but I will check when they are in full flower that they are not M. neglectum.

Not far from there was a fungus, possibly false morel, but if not, I have no idea what it is.

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