2022 County Report for Berkshire

Mick Crawley

The big news from 2022 was undoubtedly the discovery near Didcot (SU58) in early April of Giant Orchid (Himantoglossum robertianum), new to Great Britain.  When the discovery was reported in The Guardian on 1 April many readers took it to be an April Fool’s joke. Richard Bateman thinks the site might be the same as a rumoured deliberate introduction from 15 years ago. He writes “Its official distribution doesn't extend north beyond Aix and Geneva. Nonetheless, during the last decade it has turned up repeatedly in Belgium and the Netherlands, where it most likely escaped (or was released) from the burgeoning number of private collections and semi-commercial nurseries. A pity, because it's an ecological generalist and the kind of species that could happily spread northward through its own aegis under encouragement from global warming. I guess we'll never know”.