Sunday 13 June 2010

Council mows rare orchids - again

11 June 2010, 9:07

A council has admitted accidentally mowing down one of Britain's rarest orchids - for the third year running.

Hampshire County Council has again mowed a grass verge containing endangered narrow-leaved helleborines.

The mistake has astonished and angered conservationists and wildlife enthusiasts who fear the orchids may never recover at the site.

Narrow-leaved helleborines are officially classed as one of the world's most vulnerable flowers, reports the Daily Mail.

For more than 50 years, the orchids have grown on a road verge at Mascoombe Bottom in the Meon Valley, Hampshire.

But three years ago Hampshire County Council changed its roadside mowing routine and cut down the flowers before they could seed.

The charity Plantlife contacted the council and was given a guarantee the mistake would not happen again. But it was repeated last year and again this year.

Dominic Price, Plantlife's species recovery officer, said: "When I found out last week that for the third year running the few remaining orchids had been cut before they could flower I was absolutely speechless.

"This is nothing short of a massacre of one of the UK's rarest species."

Coun Mel Kendal, executive member for environment, said he would be ensuring all verges of ecological importance were individually assessed to protect rare species in future.

1 comment:

  1. It looks like Hampshire County Council need a visit from a large hairy fellow by the name of Downs, to put them straight.


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