Sadly, the poor weather during April & May has led to most of the rare orchids going to seed early. All Lady orchids were in seed 1 week ago, the hybrids are nearly all over now (just one plant with a few decent florettes) and there are just a handful of Monkey orchids in flower – and looking very pale.
For this reason I’ve decided to close the slope down and declare an end to the flowering season. The lower gate will be locked and the marker tapes will be removed to allow the orchids to seed and for the slope to recover from all the trampling. For those of you still desperate to get a photo of a Monkey orchid, the top gate will be left open but please stay on the paths (where the remaining orchids are visible) and resist walking over the slope because you won’t find much and you’ll probably just tred on seeding orchids.
Here are a few photos taken this morning on my walk round: