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Rare ‘bee orchid’ spotted

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Stroud Town Council staff are buzzing after capturing a rare treat when spotting the beautiful bee orchid flower.

In Uplands Recreation Ground, residents have enjoyed seeing at least 60 stunning bee orchid flowers currently in bloom. The flowers are fenced off to protect them.

Stroud Town Council Green Spaces team’s biodiversity work is paying off with a blossoming of a rare plant in Stroud. Efforts to create and protect wildflower areas are allowing rare bee orchids to thrive in several locations.

IMG 4896 | Rare ‘bee orchid’ spotted
Mat Allen, Buodiversity Ranger with Stroud Town Council Green Spaces Team

“The bee orchid has such a wow factor,” said Pete Bradshaw Green Spaces Manger. “It looks exactly like a bee to attract pollinators, even though in Britain they are actually self-pollinating. The fact that this plant is so rare and unusual really adds to its appeal.”

Mat Allen, the town’s Biodiversity Officer, emphasised the importance of the wildflower areas as vital corridors for pollinators and other wildlife. “Transplanting bee orchids to sites managed by the Town Council has made a huge difference in boosting their presence around Stroud.”

The bee orchid is considered one of the botanical treasures of the Five Valleys area. By delaying mowing of some set aside areas until late July, the Town Council gives the orchids and other wildflowers time to complete their full blooming and seeding cycle.

“If we create these pollinator corridors linking wildflower areas across Stroud to the surrounding commons, it will support biodiversity that is under threat from habitat loss,” Mat said.

Through careful meadow management, the Green Spaces team aims to make Stroud an oasis for bees, butterflies and other precious pollinators in the years ahead.

Photographs of Bee Orchids on Uplands Recreaction Ground and Mat Allen, Buodiversity Ranger with Stroud Town Council Green Spaces Team.

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