Bournemouth University

School of Conservation Sciences

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Students from Bournemouth University continue their monitoring of Green Winged Orchids

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Orchids Green Winged Orchids survey continues  

Populations of Green winged orchids are declining nationally so it is important to protect remaining populations. Bournemouth & West Hampshire Water had a particularly impressive population of approximately 10,000 plants growing on the turf roof of a reservoir at their water treatment works at Alderney.

However, by 2002 the roof of the reservoir was leaking which meant that the turf had to be removed to access the cement roof beneath. A decision was made to try and save the orchids by removing the turf in strips containing the orchids, storing the strips on other parts of the site during 2003 whilst repairs took place and then returning the strips to the repaired roof in 2004.

Students from Bournemouth University, with guidance from their tutor Dr Anita Diaz, have helped with the monitoring of the project. The number or orchids initially halved over the first two years of the translocation , from 10,000 to 5,000 in 2004 and from 5,000 to 2000 in 2005. However, since then numbers have recovered steadily and this April the project can be declared a total success as there are once again over 10, 000 orchid plants flourishing on the reservoir roof.

For more information on this project, please contact Dr Anita Diaz