Posts Tagged ‘agricultural drainage’

Some might be common but they’re still ‘gems’

June 28, 2013

The two images taken by Steve Hiner (Natural England) illustrate the beauty particularly when viewed in close up of Common Spotted Orchid, a species showing well out on Thorne Moors at the moment. The species common or vernacular name is derived from the spots on the leaves of the plant. Generally found in grassy places and associated with lime.

Dactylorhiza fuschsii

Dactylorhiza fuchsii

Dactylorhiza fuchsii

Dactylorhiza fuchsii

Compare the above spike to those of the previous post to see the difference and salient features which distinguish the two species.  Get to grips with the common species then start to wrestle with the complexities of the many hybrid orchid species.


The image below taken by Peter Kendall, illustrates a very uncommon species: Burnt Tip Orchid.   Uncommon and very localised in Yorkshire, this specimen is a Humberhead Levels one.


Burnt Tip Orchid pk


An excellent paper by M J Y Folley (1992)  The current distribution and abundance of Orchis ustulata L. (Orchidaceae) in the British Isles – an updated summary which featured in Watsonia 19: 121-26 provides a historic indication of its status.  Since the publication of the paper it has undergone a name change and is now recognised as Neotinea ustulata.

Some of the images featured in the blog posts will feature in the publication which reports on the three year Botanical Survey of Thorne Moors, a project initiated by Ian McDonald with the field work completed in 2012 (although species continue to be added in the current 2013 season).  The project will publish the findings as a local site Flora and this will be the first time ever that a baseline species list will be available as an easily accessible publication.  Despite several centuries of interest by naturalists there is not a site flora or comprehensive list available and this project will remedy that void.  It is however recognised that as soon as the publication is in print that it will be immediately out of date as more species will inevitably be added to the local database but there will at least be a species list for the next cohort of field botanists to start to build upon and update in due course.  Species lost consequential of agricultural drainage and peat exploitation can be ‘discovered’ and lamented over in ‘obituaries’ in obscure and difficult to obtain journals.

Keep sharing those images and data with us.  Contact us via

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