Orchid Expert makes a return visit to the Severn Valley Country Park

A passion for orchids

A passion for orchids

Shropshire Council Rangers at Severn Valley Country Park are happy to welcome back orchid expert, Phil Seaton. Phil will be speaking about his passion for orchids across the world, focusing mainly on Latin America. Worldwide there are over 25,000 species of orchids, making them one of the largest plant families. Many species are threatened with extinction in their natural habitat due to climate change, habitat degradation, over collection for ornamental proposes or use in traditional medicine.

Over the past ten years, Phil has been managing an orchid seed banking project for the Millennium Seed Bank at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The project has taken him to a number of countries throughout Latin America (Cuba, Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil, Ecuador and, most recently, Colombia) both promoting collection and storage of orchid seed as a conservation tool, and searching for orchids in their natural habitats from high in the Andes to the Caribbean coasts.

Mr Seaton took early retirement from lecturing in Biology to work in orchid conservation and he 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, ‘Last year’s talk looked at the conservation of British orchids but Phil’s knowledge of orchids is global. It will be fascinating to hear more about these special plants from around the world.’

The talk ‘A Passion for Orchids: Orchid Travels in Latin America’ will be held at Severn Valley Country Park’s visitor centre on Wednesday January 13th 2016, 7.30pm-9pm. Tickets are £4 Adults, £2 Children £3 Members of the Shropshire Wildlife Trust. Tickets include a hot drink and biscuits. Places are limited so please call 01746 781192 to book.