Steve's Orchids

My interest in the wild orchids of Britain started one day on a trip to Ynys Las dunes on the west coast of Wales many years ago. It is one of the best dune sites for orchids in terms of numbers and accessibility at least. From there I started looking out for orchids and making a few notes of what I had found. Nothing rare, but all fascinating. My bible for this was Wild Orchids of Britain by Summerhayes. Much of that book is still quite valid today, even though there have been a number of taxonomic changes, and classification revisions since it was written. In those early days no pictures were taken. I had a small 35mm which was okay for a few snaps of places visited but anything like a close up of a flower would have been a big blur (which Boots would still have developed and charged me for). My next major reference book was Delforge`s Orchids of Britain and Europe. Useful but covered too wide a scope and it would appear that some species have been created for separate entries. I now rely a lot on Orchids of Britain and Ireland by the Harraps. This to me combines the virtues of the other two books. Other books that have been useful include Orchids of Northern Europe by Sven Nisson, a Penguin Nature Guide, and Sue Parker`s Wild Orchids of Wales. This latter book lists a number of specific places where various species can be found and spurred on my enthusiasm for visiting more Welsh sites in 2007 and 2008. Now we have (published in 2020 of all years) British's Orchids by Sean Cole and Mike Waller - the most up to date and comprehensive guide.

I finally got a digital camera in 2006. It had a macro facility and I wasn`t limited to rolls of film and developing charges any longer. An SD card could be stuffed with photos and loaded onto my PC at home. Here I could delete the rubbish, crop the bit with my finger or someone`s foot, and store them nicely. I had got the bug! However my cameras have been small and compact. I want one camera for all use, and I do not want to be lugging around several kilos of equipment wherever I go. So I currently use a FUJIFILM FinePix F550EXR which can be whipped out its little case at a moments notice. So my photos are not the best and for illustrating on this site they have been significantly reduced in size anyway. Then late in 2016 I upgrade again, to a Panasonic Lumix G5K. What I like about this is the ability to choose my own focus and get whole plant shots with both leaves and flowers in focus. Additionally the 3 inch swiveling touch screen means shots do not always need to be taken while lying down or kneeling. I shall keep the Fuji as well, as it is still good enough for real close up shots, and can be kept in a pocket when out and about.

Of course we all know about what happened to the world in 2020. It seriously hampered orchideering that year and is running on into 2021. A lot of catching up to do in the future!

It would be nice to tick off all the species, sub-species, varieties and hybrids, but I know that is not going to happen. So I am content just to log what I see without feeling the need to set off for a week in Stornoway just to see one orchid.

If anyone needs inspiration or a kick-starter I recommend two books on the same theme; the quest to see all British species in one season. These are Orchid Summer by Jon Dunn and The Orchid Hunter by Leif Bersweden. You can take as long as you like.


Before you start looking, there is no Links page here. You will have experienced the same as me - a page full of seemingly fantastic and useful links all giving a 404 Page Not Found error. Many pages are personal projects and simply disappear over time. The closest you get here is the News page, where links do tend to be retained. Just use Google or whatever.


The pictures on the main pages are thumbnails - well most are
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The Small Print: The mention of any site here does not imply that there is public access; just that I had no trouble in doing so. Most are either adjacent to public roads and paths, or on nature reserves. An internet search or map research should identify appropriate access. Do not pick uproot or damage any orchid or any other plant. Leave the sites as you find them (or better).

And all photos on this site are my own. Few have any merit and better examples can be found everywhere. Consequently there is no protection applied. If you should borrow or link to these file please just credit them to `Muba'. Thanks.

This site has been designed to work with Mozilla Firefox as the browser.
Hopefully it will also work on smartphones too