Rare wildflower spotted growing on Basildon grassland

A beautiful rare wildflower has blossomed on Basildon grassland, with its growth result of the council’s relaxed mowing regime.

Scientifically known as anacamptis morio, but more commonly referred to as the green-winged orchid, it is classified as near threatened within Great Britain. The flower has been spotted growing in the natural wildflower area within Laindon Hills Recreational Ground as well as on roundabouts in the nearby Mandeville Way.

On the same roundabouts, the relaxation of mowing has allowed for a plethora of other wildflowers to grow, including cowslips, primroses, ox-eye daisies and many more.

Grass cutting had been relaxed along some main grass verge routes in the 20/21 year as part of an initial trial in the borough in order to increase the number of improved biodiversity sites. This has been extended by a further 32,000m² during summer 2021 in a bid to increase pollination across the borough and allow wildflowers to thrive.

Basildon Council’s landscape officer, Terry Simmons, said: “Relaxing grass cutting along some of our main routes has allowed for a more diverse and visually impactful environment to blossom on our roundabouts and grass verges.

“But more importantly than its attractiveness, it allows for wildlife to inhabit the areas, and the native grasses and wild flowers that bloom provides nectar for pollinators and contributes to a reduction in air pollution.

“And with the council having sown the wildflower seeds on our roundabouts in recent weeks, once they blossom in the summer months, the naturally growing wild flowers combined with the growth from the seeded flowers will be a brilliant mix to see.”

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Mick Ferris

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