Dales orchid to star at Chelsea
We are proud that the rare Lady's Slipper Orchid, the star of our Wild About Orchids festival at Kilnsey, is on its way to the world-famous Chelsea Flower Show. The orchid will be the star attraction of Welcome to Yorkshire's Dales-themed garden at this year's event. It's even getting a special guard for the week.
The exciting news has already received extensive coverage on the BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22545330 and in the Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/chelseaflowershow/10059601/Chelsea-Flower-Show-2013-rare-orchid-Ladys-Slipper-to-be-shown.html
For more information on this year's Wild About Orchids festival at Kilnsey 25 May - 2 June click here http://www.kilnseypark.co.uk/archived-news/291-wild-about-orchids-festival
Here's the official Welcome to Yorkshire release:
Wardens on alert to guard rare orchid
Security plans are underway to guard the UK’s rarest orchid when it appears at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show next week.
Such is the importance of the Lady’s Slipper orchid that has its own panel of botanical experts that look after its conservation and protection, the Cypripedium Committee. Working with that committee Welcome to Yorkshire - which is exhibiting the orchid as part of its artisan entry, Le Jardin de Yorkshire - is discussing adding additional protection to guard the plant during the world famous flower show.
Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “The orchid will be a star of our garden and we are working with the Cypripedium Committee to ascertain if we need to have additional manpower on the garden to guarantee its safety.
“When you have the UK’s rarest orchid on your garden you need to take every precaution to protect it and we are having those conversations. I’m sure people will flock to see this rare specimen and to learn more about its successful conservation programme.”
The Lady’s Slipper is strictly protected by law, and cuttings once fetched bids of thousands of pounds from unscrupulous collectors. The orchids being featured in Le Jardin de Yorkshire are direct descendents from the last wild orchid growing in the UK, which is under warden protection during summer months.
The plant has been brought back from the brink of extinction by scientists at Kew Gardens in London. Lady's Slipper orchids have been planted across the north of England, and can now be visited at a handful of locations such as Kilnsey Park Estate in North Yorkshire.
Jamie Roberts, managing director of Kilnsey Park Estate, who is closely involved with the conservation programme added: “This is a wonderful opportunity for visitors to Chelsea to see the UK’s rarest wildflower outside of its natural habitat. It is testament to the extraordinary work Natural England and Kew Gardens have done that we are able to take a Lady’s Slipper orchid to Chelsea, and while security is uppermost in all our minds, so is raising awareness of the plant’s success story, from the brink of extinction to being showcased at the world’s most famous flower show in its 100th year.”
Le Jardin de Yorkshire celebrates the county’s successful bid to host the Tour de France. As well as the Lady’s Slipper orchid the garden will also feature a wild flower meadow through which a peloton of cyclist will speed, passing the dry stone walls of the Yorkshire Dales.
The garden will also mark the dual centenaries of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and the 100th running of the Tour de France and help raise the profile of Yorkshire’s famous gardens.
The Chelsea Flower Show runs from the 21st – 25th May. The Wild About Orchids festival at Kilnsey Park Estate, North Yorkshire, features a number of the successfully reintroduced Lady’s Slipper orchids, the show runs from 25th May to 2nd June www.kilnseypark.co.uk.