09/09/2017 Edge Hill University, Ormskirk

Dune Helleborine: (Epipactis dunensis) Amazing to see such a rare and unassuming wild orchid in such a strange place, a grassy verge on the edge of a park in a University!

I've never visited Edge Hill before and strck gold by choosing a Sunday to go, good parking and no one acost me. The uni is a lovley place, with a ornimental pond full of Mallard and lost of manicured garden style areas.

Really good to catch a rare glimpse of a threatened species of orchid, the Dune Helleborine which was discovered back in 2014 were there was fewer than 10 plants, in 2016 this had increased to 86 and this year 2017 the count is at shot up to amazing 198.

This species is nationally scarce with fewer than 100 hectad records for the species.
These unassuming spires rare orchids often occur only in dune slacks at places such as Formby and Sandscale Haws, where it can be present in the hundreds on the dune sides rather than the floor of the slack.

It's flowers are small, yellowish-green and washed pink, with the epichile triangular, broader than long and folded back at the tip.
The leaves are small, yellow-green and arranged in two rows up the stem, typically 30 - 35 cm tall and difficult to spot.
I've read that the best time to see Dune Helleborine and when its generally at its best is around the second and third weeks of July.

Thanks to Joshua Styles for sharing his images and reporting his sightings on his Twitter pages, top lad.