Wild Orchids of Wales - how, when and where to find them

by Sue Parker

Reviews - More details - About the author

Ebook edition, published November 2023, only £5.95.

Wild Orchids of Wales, how, when and where to find them

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Book Details

"An essential guide for anyone interested in wild orchids, this beautifully-illustrated authoritative guidebook encapsulates the experience of 20 years of conscientious on-location searching, study and research in Wales."

This outstanding field guide has 5 stars for every one of its reviews of the hardback edition on Amazon...

Review comments

'This is an excellent guide to the orchids of Wales in a convenient portable A5 format... It has a comprehensive section covering all of the recorded orchid species, illustrated with photographs of the highest quality. ...it is the attention given to where orchids grow and where to find them that makes this book especially useful... The book is clearly produced by someone with a deep and detailed knowledge of the area and its conservation. Highly recommended for anyone living in or visiting Wales who has an interest in orchids or indeed more general natural history.'

Mike Gasson, in Journal of the Hardy Orchid Society... January 2017.

'The First Nature team has come up with yet another gem. For anyone interested in orchids, their habitats and where to find them in Wales, this is a must read!' Iolo Williams

(Original review in Dutch) 'This is a beautifully produced book about the wild orchids in Wales... It will be more a help, when back home or in the hotel, to give a name at the orchid flowers seen or photographed in nature. For those who know little or nothing about orchids, this book is an interesting and useful acquaintance. For people more experienced with orchids this book will certainly be a good first aid in the identification of an orchid species observed in flower.' Rik Neirynck. Read the full review (bilingual Dutch/English) here...

More about this book

Wales with its rich botanical heritage and centuries-old traditions of plant hunting (Snowdonia was a favourite haunt of Charles Darwin) is still one of the most orchid-rich parts of Britain, with 32 species and several distinctive subspecies. This in part is due to Wales's very varied range of habitats, but another major factor is the priority that Wales has given to safeguarding its wildlife and wildflowers. Nowhere in Europe has such an abundance of nature reserves and other sites with protected status for their national and international conservation value.

Wild Orchids of Wales is much more than a fully illustrated identification guide; it is also a celebration of the Nature Reserves of Wales. The author has dedicated this book to '...the individuals and groups of volunteers without whose tireless efforts in all winds and weathers the environmental riches of Wales, from small community sites to great nature reserves, would not be so accessible and bring such joy to so many people.'

For newcomers in particular, wild orchids can be hard to find and even harder to identify. Wild Orchids of Wales solves these problems. The book includes easy-to-follow introductions to the biology and habitats of orchids; illustrated descriptions of the orchid species, each with distinguishing features highlighted; and a unique guide to more than 50 of the top orchid sites throughout the country, including GPS data, map references and detailed directions. Also included are tips for photographing flowers. More than 300 colour photographs of wild orchids, both in their natural settings and as stunning close-up pictures of their flowers, ensure that readers will be able to identify the orchids they find on countryside rambles.

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About the Author

Sue Parker

Naturalist Sue Parker’s fascination with orchids stems from her childhood in the Far East. The colourful wildflowers growing over her garden fence in Singapore were the kind of exotic orchids that many people in Europe now have in pots on windowsills. The search for wild orchids has taken Sue to many countries; but, as she says, there is a special satisfaction in finding and identifying beautiful orchids close to home – and for the past 25 years Sue has been studying the Algarve's wonderful wildflowers and, in particular, its wild orchids. Apart from having owned a house in the Algarve for nearly 20 years, Sue also has a home in Wales, which serves as her main writing base.

An active conservationist, Sue is the author of 12 books and several dozen articles on wildlife and countryside topics; she is well known in the Algarve for her column on Sustainable Living, published monthly over several years in the Algarve Resident newspaper. Sue’s introductory guide 'Wild Orchids in the Algarve' has been one of the Algarve’s bestsellers since it was published in 2009. This new book, covering many more species and providing a wealth of additional information on top orchid sites, walks and much more, is surely destined to become an essential handbook for Algarve residents and visitors alike. With her husband Pat O'Reilly, Sue produced and maintains this First Nature website, whose pages are visited more than two million times a year.

Sue Parker's published books include Wild Orchids of the Algarve, how, when and where to find them; Wild Orchids of Wales, how, when and where to find them; and Wild Orchids in The Burren. All are available as Kindle ebooks via amazon.co.uk and amazon.com

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