First ever Common Spotted Orchid at Worcester Woods

Published Thursday, 18th June 2015

Countryside officers have reported finding the first ever Common Spotted Orchid at Worcester Woods Country Park

Despite the name 'Common Spotted Orchid' these plants are quite rare. This specimen was found in Hornhill Meadows. Finding this rare orchid is a good indicator of diverse meadow grassland.  This is great news for the Countryside team because it means their approach to protecting and nurturing meadows is working.

Over the years the County Council's countryside team have undertaken a lot of work to restore and manage the grassland in Hornhill Meadows.  Grants have been awarded under the under the Countryside Stewardship Grant scheme, which has been used to fence the meadows and introduce cattle grazing. This encourages wild flowers and over the years we have seen an increase in the amount and diversity of flowers seen in the meadows.

The Common Spotted Orchid is the third orchid species recorded in Hornhill Meadows, following the Green Winged Orchid and Pyramidal Orchid. 

Tanya Feasey Assistant Countryside Site Officer for Worcester Woods Country Park said "This is fantastic news that we have found our third orchid species here in Hornhill Meadows. This shows that the grassland management work that we are undertaking is working to benefit the diversity of the meadows."

Worcester Woods Country Park is open all year round. The meadows look fantastic at this time of year with the wildflowers in bloom. People can drop into the Countryside Centre, pick up a leaflet and follow the Meadow Trail, if they want to see more.