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Orchid Expert to visit the Severn Valley Country Park (4th February 2015)

Shropshire Council Rangers at the Severn Valley Country Park are happy to welcome orchid expert, Phil Seaton. Phil will be giving both a talk and demonstration about the conservation of British orchids.

Across the world, there are over 25,000 species of orchids, making them one of the largest plant families. Many species are threatened with extinction in the natural habitat due to climate change, habitat degradation, over collection for ornamental proposes or use in traditional medicine.

Phil Seaton took early retirement from lecturing in Biology to work in orchid conservation. He has since travelled the world to study orchids and aid his research into seed storage and seedling growth. Phil is currently Project Manager for the OSSSU (Orchid Seed Stores for Sustainable Use) and is based at the Seed Conservation Department of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew at Wakehurst Place.

Phil regularly uses the labs at King Charles 1st School in Kidderminster, where he works with the students studying and growing both local and tropical orchids. He is also the author of a number of informative books including ‘Growing Orchids from Seed’

Visitor Centre Manager Susie Comaish says, ‘The Park is the home to 5 species of orchid. During May and June, hundreds of common spotted orchids dominated our Spring Pieces meadow. It will be fascinating to hear more about these special plants from someone with the vast experience Phil has.’

‘As well as the talk, there will also be a demonstration on how to grow orchids from seed and well as a look at the global orchid seed banking project Phil currently leads.’

The talk will be held in the visitor centre on Thursday 12th February 7.30pm-9pm. Tickets are £4 Adults, £2 Children £3 Members of the Shropshire Wildlife Trust. Tickets include a hot drink and slice of cake. Places are limited so please call 01746 781192 to book your place.