Rare orchids found in St Albans

pyramidical orchid at Bedmond Lane field

pyramidical orchid at Bedmond Lane field - Credit: Archant

Rarely-seen orchids have been recorded in the district on a rail embankment and a field threatened with development.

Ver Valley Society (VVS) chairman Jane Gardiner, who coordinates its volunteer water bailiffs, and the society’s secretary John Fisher have reported spotted and pyramidical orchids coming through at both the Harpenden Hill road cutting just outside Redbourn and on the Bedmond Lane field in St Albans.

The embankment was cleared of scrub by VVS volunteer working parties a couple of years ago in the hope of encouraging more orchids and now over 20 pyramidical orchids have been discovered where the work was carried out.

On Bedmond Lane field, the site owned by Banner Homes which wants horse grazing to be permitted - generally seen as a precursor to a bid for housing development - spotted and pyramidical orchids have beeen spotted together with the bee orchids which grow in abundance.

Publicity officer for VVS, Martin Frearson, said they appeared to be new to the site and he did not recall their existence being mentioned by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust when they lodged an objection to the application by Banner Homes for horse grazing on the Bedmond Lane meadow.