Please be careful when visiting the Lizard Orchid population at Bristol. If questioned by anyone just make sure it is not the couple that live in the big house at the base of the embankment. You can see the house from the site. They are contacting the council to complain about the trees that have been removed and scrub that I have been doing to save the Lizard Orchid population. They again want to plant trees on the Lizard Orchid site like those conifers that were there. The lady told me she did not care about the orchids and threatened to dig them up. So dear all if you see holes in the ground or signs of weedkiller damage on the orchids this year contact especially the Ecology department at Gloucestershire County Council and if it comes to it the police.
This is what I have written to the Ecology department.
I have been coming down from Northamptonshire each late Jan/early Feb to do habitat management on the west side of ..........for the Lizard orchid population there. I have spoken to Sally Patterson in the past and asked the council if I could do the management before I did anything. I got the permission.
I am having problems with the couple who live in the large house at the base of the embankment who must live off .......... Their house can seen from the open embankment.
First of all can you tell me if the couple got permission to plant a row of leylandii conifers on the embankment with a Schedule 8 plant species that is fully protected by law? If not I have been told this is illegial. However someone must have removed these. This has caused problems this weekend. The couple are going to get onto the council to ask to plant trees on the embankment. They want a screen to block off their house from sight of the dual carrigeway........ The couple came to see me to say I have taken too many trees out. The lady then said she does not care about the orchids and threatened to dig them up. This is totally illegial especially with Lizard Orchid being fully protected. Her husband asked me where the orchids were but I kept quite because I thought as soon as my back is turned the orchids will get dug up.
The woman mentioned I did not care about their screen.
I am very concerned about the Lizard Orchids this year. I have tried to co-operate with them but it is getting quite difficult.
The Lizard Orchid population is moving. The large sycamores at the bus stop end of the embankment have shaded out the Lizard Orchid and they have virtually gone from here. The big problem is that sycamore leaves do not rot down very well and cover eeven mature Lizard orchid rosettes. I have cleared some elm scrub at the ......... of the embankment as new Lizard Orchid rosettes have appeared there and they needed more light levels to mature.
If the couple get permission to plant trees a good screen would be leylandii as long as they are planted at the bottom of the cleared embankment. This is if deciduous trees were planted they create more leaf fall causing more problems on the bank for the orchid populations. The leylandii would not do this. The leylandii would make a screen for the couple keeping them happy.
I am trying to co-operate with everyone not trying to upset anyone but at the moment the site and the future protection and management for the Lizard orchid is on tender hooks.
Brian Laney, Northamptonshire.