Concern over flowers at Exmouth beauty spot

PUBLISHED: 06:30 14 May 2016

Delicate green winged orchids growing in the wild flower area next to the Geoneedle. Ref exe 18-16SH 2701. Picture: Simon Horn.

Delicate green winged orchids growing in the wild flower area next to the Geoneedle. Ref exe 18-16SH 2701. Picture: Simon Horn.

Archant

A charity has insisted it is committed to protecting rare flowers on its land, after a resident raised concerns they could be lost.

Joanne Page, of Foxholes Hill, says green-winged orchids by the Geoneedle at Orcombe Point were exposed to damage from passing walkers. She says this is because the National Trust has moved a protective fence, adding: “Since coming to live in Exmouth over 20 years ago, this time of year has always been special, because we would walk to see the beautiful green-winged orchids which bloom on Orcombe Point. It seemed a miracle that they survived, when so many of our wild flowers had vanished.

“This site is probably the best that remains in Devon. It is tragic to see it being destroyed.

“I plead that urgent action be taken to protect the remaining plants from the vast numbers of walkers and dogs who will be rightly enjoying walking the Jurassic Coast path in the coming weeks, and who, I’m sure, have no wish to damage these lovely flowers.”

In response, a National Trust spokesperson said: “The fence was moved as part of recent landscape and coast path work, done as part of broader work to improve the coast path for access, landscape improvements and management of cliff erosion in the Exmouth area.

“We always welcome input from the local community and have been actively working with them on the ground to protect the green-winged orchids. We’ve put the following in place - barriers to stop people straying into delicate areas, amending signs to encourage use of the coast path and information to explain the importance of the rich wildflower meadows.

“Together with those we’ve been working with in the community, we believe these measures will help minimize any further accidental trampling and will continue to monitor the site and make further changes if necessary.”

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