A class from Overmonnow Primary School, Monmouth visited the wild bee orchids growing in Monmouth last week. The class had some creative activities planned and learned more about this beautiful wild orchid.

Monmouth was the first Bee Friendly Town in Britain, and hundreds of Bee Orchids are in flower in a meadow on the corner of Cornpoppy Avenue. They are very rare in such high numbers in Monmouthshire and have a velvety lip that looks like a female bumble bee. 

The meadow is owned by Robert Hitchins of Cheltenham and recently they applied for the land to be a Candidate Site within the MCC  new development plan. Monmouthshire Meadows put forward the site for protection, and the field was not added to the development plan.

Wild Bee Orchid

 The land is fenced to prevent trample damage  but many of the orchids can be seen from the pavements on Chartist Rise and Cornpoppy Avenue. 

Bee orchids are in decline as places where they grow are destroyed by mowing or land development.  A single Bee Orchid takes up to 8 years to grow and flower, and if cut or picked is unlikely to flower again and has lost its only chance to produce seed. The children took home handouts with information and photographs of the bee orchids.