To Bee or not to Bee 

Our county flower, the bee orchid, is sadly in decline – it takes between 5 - 8 years to grow and once picked, that’s it. It’s seeds never get a chance to germinate, and it’s gone forever. It’s a sad tale for such a fascinating flower. Evolving to mimic the look and furry feel of a bee on its petals, the bee orchid even emits a female bee scent. Nothing is smarter than nature.

Bee orchid rosette

Image from Bedfordshire Orchid Group

Excitingly, though local plant recorder Brian recently round a bee orchid rosette in our lawn at the back of the Forest Centre. If you ever spot one when you’re out and about on any of our sites, let us know, as they’re a relatively rare find. They flower in June/July but you’d be able to spot their rosette (as pictured below) throughout the year.


We provide habitats for a variety of plants and other wildlife at all of our sites in the Forest of Marston Vale and this is only possible thanks to generous donations from nature lovers like you!

To help us keep up the good work, please donate anything you can or - even better - sign up to become a Friend of the Forest, and for just £5 a month you can be a part in what we're doing to make the Forest a better place for people and wildlife, for generations to come.