How to get involved
The aim of the project is to bring together a network of active volunteers, so that the core sites can be monitored weekly throughout the flowering season. If possible, each of the key spots where the last plants were recorded will ideally be checked on a daily basis throughout the peak of the season for any flowering stems that appear above ground.
Do I need to be an expert botanist to take part?
No specialist botanical knowledge is necessary - basic training will be provided for those who require it, as well as a full briefing before the season begins, complete with all the necessary information. In depth knowledge of the previous sites is also not necessary - again a full briefing will be given before the season starts, complete with maps of the area.
How much time do I need to spare?
No matter how little time you can spare, your contribution is still important and we'd love to hear from you. You can give as much time to the project as you wish, at any time throughout the summer that is convenient for you.
When will the search take place?
Ghost Orchids have a lengthy flowering period, which is just one of the reasons why locating them proves to be so difficult. The main season is from mid-July to mid-September, so visits will be taking place all throughout this period.
As plants in Buckinghamshire have historically tended to flower earlier, the bulk of the searches in this location will be concentrated from mid-July to the third week in August. Oxfordshire and Herefordshire searches will take place throughout August and September.
What will the search involve?
Volunteers will be searching the known existing woodlands where the Ghost Orchids last occurred, as well as the identified potential sites, looking for any signs of flowering plants. Key sites and maps will be provided during the pre-season briefing.