I’ve just finished updating the records after today’s mapping session with Beryl and Gerry and the results look very interesting indeed. We managed to mop up a lot of ‘stray’ plants that I hadn’t found visually in C1 & B1 using measuring tapes. But then a quick look at A1 showed that the Lady orchids were starting to flower (2 plants) and that there were a lot of hybrids flowering so we stopped to count them (26 in total so far – another record).
Interestingly, a few (5 or 6) of the 40 new “Lady orchid” seedlings that we found last year were in fact more hybrids so I am now convinced that they are all hybrids! Vegetative seedlings are always hard to attribute to species and we often have to wait intil they flower or grow into larger plants. In addition, there are another 30-40 seedlings that we must have missed last year in roughly the same area … so they will all need mapping at some time … oh joy!!
We also noticed that careless people have already started to tread on peripheral hybrids as they photograph the Lady orchids.This really is getting to a stage where we will have to close off the area around the hybrids to allow the plants and the erroded slope to recover for a year or two. We have tried to put up markers and warning signs but idiots still tread all over the non-flowering plants. Gerry has put up yet more nets and posts around the vulnerable plants but I am sure someone sill tread them into the ground again – it always seems to happen!