Bee Orchids in the City Centre

Bee orchids are fantastic plants, and I wouldn’t necessarily expect to see them in the middle of Nottingham.  So it was great to find a group of these intriguing flowers on a patch of wasteland not far from the centre :

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The remarkable plant does a good job of resembling a bumble bee resting on a pink flower….

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The wasteland site, also known as “The Island”, is a former industrial site (including a Boots pharmaceutical factory) on the Sneinton edge of the city centre.  Although there have been various grandiose plans to develop the site, it fortunately remains as an important marginal location for wildlife and informal recreation.  It’s also the focus of the Wasteland Twinning initiative in Nottingham, which is asking interesting questions about the value and perception of the site.

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Bee orchids are not uncommonly found these days on ex-industrial sites, and it’s important to acknowledge the significance such land can have for wildlife – they are often more diverse than greenfield agricultural deserts, and should not just be seen as “blank canvasses” for development.

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