Nature lovers around the UK are being called on to help Natural History Museum scientists track orchid flowering times as they bloom this spring and summer. The Orchid Observers project will study how climate change is affecting these fascinating plants.
Orchid Observers is a new project bringing together photography, biological recording and the online analysis of museum specimens to better understand the effects that climate change is having on the flowering times of UK orchid populations. By bringing these data together, we hope to develop a deeper understanding of the effects that climate change is having on this charismatic and much-loved group, some of which are declining – even in protected sites, which in turn may help inform how we can plan and protect key populations and areas. You can photograph orchids anywhere in the UK between now and September and upload your images to the website www.orchidobservers.org, where you can also analyse flowering dates of museum specimens.