Shropshire Star

Deputy Lord Lieutenant joins in town's annual orchid count

Shropshire's Deputy Lord Lieutenant and the county's High Sheriff have joined in with a market town's annual orchid count.

Claire Brentnall with the other orchid counters earlier this month

The orchids at Windmill Hill in Much Wenlock are counted every year as they are a good indicator of the changes in the grassland.

For this year's county Deputy Lord Lieutenant Claire Brentnall and Shropshire's High Sheriff Mandy Thorn were invited to help at the annual orchid count by the Windmill Trust.

The pyramidal orchids at Windmill Hill are one of the biggest populations in the county.

The count, which took place on July 6, reached a total of 5,033 pyramidal orchids, which was down from last year’s record-breaking total of 5,742.

John Box from Much Wenlock Windmill Trust said the drop from last year was likely due to the hot and dry spring.

He added: "It was a terrific orchid count this year. Uphill and downhill and then across the slope.

"The pyramidal orchids are an indicator of the superb quality of the limestone grassland on Windmill Hill and how it is being managed by the Much Wenlock Windmill Trust with a late summer hay cut in place of the previous horse grazing.

"Counting orchids is an indicator of the changes in the grassland and in the quality or nature conservation value of the grassland. We all love orchids and they are easy to count."