Kent is particularly well blessed with a wonderful array of wild orchids. Out of the 50 or so species that grow in Britain, about 25 different varieties can be found in Kent in any one season. Some are woodland species whilst others favor chalk down land or dune slacks. The sheer elegance and beauty of these plants hold an enormous fascination for botanists and general naturalists alike and many partake in an annual pilgrimage to photograph some of their favorite species.
Some are common and can be found in most counties in the UK whilst others are rare and are restricted to just one or two counties and then, such as the Monkey and Lizard Orchids in Kent, to just one or two sites.
Fortunately orchids are now protected and many can be found on Nature Reserves. It was just a few decades ago that children would pick whole bunches of orchids (including Lady Orchids) to present to their mothers.
Our orchids are perhaps not in the same league as some of their tropical cousins, but they are still incredibly beautiful and to find them growing wild in some piece of woodland still creates a sense of joy and excitement.
Sandwich Bird Tours offers Orchid Tours in East Kent - details can be found on the Orchid Tours Page.