Wildlife group praises council thanks to natural hotspot

Bee orchids have grown in numbers in Ely thanks to a successful mowing schedule.

The Ely Local Group of the Wildlife Trust has praised East Cambridgeshire District Council thanks to a new mowing regime which has helped bee orchids thrive in Ely. - Credit: Supplied/Helen Moore

A wildlife group has helped one area of East Cambridgeshire become a hive of activity thanks to a new regime. 

The Ely Local Group of the Wildlife Trust contacted East Cambridgeshire District Council’s parks and open spaces team after spotting bee orchids between the A10 and Norfolk Road and Beresford Road estates five years ago. 

Since then, the group has monitored the orchids annually and helped the council’s team in planning their mowing so the orchids have a chance to flower and set seed later in the year. 

Helen Moore, member of the Ely Local Group, said: “Early in the year, we spent several cold days counting winter rosettes of bee orchids and found over 500.   

Bee orchids and other flowers have grown in numbers in Ely thanks to a successful mowing schedule.

The Ely Local Group of the Wildlife Trust has praised East Cambridgeshire District Council thanks to a new mowing regime which has helped bee orchids thrive in Ely. - Credit: Supplied/Helen Moore

“We’ve been around the area in rather warmer weather and were pleased to find 231 flowering spikes, some with 12 or 13 flowers in specific unmown areas.” 


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Other plants have also benefited from the creative mowing regime, including ox-eye daisy, purple knapweed, meadow buttercup and white hedge bedstraw. 

A recent visit to the area by the Ely and District u3a Botany Group found around 40 species of flowering plant. 

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Terry Moore, group member, said: “The parks and open spaces team need congratulating for the way they are encouraging biodiversity.  

“This is through creative management and their notices which explain to walkers, joggers and cyclists who use the area why certain parts have been left unmown until after the flowers have set seed.” 

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