Midleton’s Bee Orchid on the Move
9th February 2023
A population of the rare Bee Orchid is set to be transplanted to a new location by BAM and Cork County Council as part of the infrastructure works currently underway in Water-Rock, Midleton.
Hundreds of the species, so called because it has evolved to mimic the patterning and scent of a female bee, have recently been discovered in the town, one of the first in the country to adopt a Pollinator Plan. The bee orchid is usually found in botanical hotspots such as the Burren in Co. Clare and Bull Island in Dublin. The Bee Orchid is a perennial species that tends to be found in open, semi-dry grasslands on limestone, and calcareous dunes. While currently not a protected species in Ireland, it may be protected in the future.
Commenting on the move, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Danny Collins said, “As a Council and with the support of BAM, transplanting of the Bee Orchid to a safe location along the Midleton -Youghal greenway is a clear demonstration of our commitment to biodiversity, ensuring it will be available for future enjoyment by the wider East Cork community. As members of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, Cork County Council want to identify and protect existing areas that are good for bees and insects as well as planting pollinator-friendly beds, trees and bulbs. The plans also focus on reducing or eliminating the use of pesticides and altering the frequency of grass cutting to allow more native plants to flower. Midleton is a fantastic example of how the principles of the pollinator plan can lead to really positive results.”
BAM was appointed to deliver the Water-Rock LIHAF Initiative Infrastructure Works near Midleton last year which includes the construction of approximately 1.2 km of a single-carriageway link road and approximately 300m of adjoining single-carriageway roads. The roads will include a surface water drainage and attenuation system, upgrading of the existing Cork-Midleton/ Midleton Northern Relief Road junction, services, public lighting, and landscaping.
Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey highlighted how it is possible to deliver large-scale projects in conjunction with adhering to pollinator-friendly practices, “The Water-Rock development is a strategically important project for Midleton and the East Cork area. Cork County Council has worked proactively over an extended period with landowners, government agencies and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage using LIHAF funding to deliver this substantial infrastructure project, providing new roads and services valued at €7.3m. It is wonderful to see how a project of this scale can be delivered in conjunction with a sustainable and considerate biodiversity approach and, thanks to the support of BAM, every effort is being made to ensure that we help reverse the decline of our pollinator species.”
Alasdair Henderson, Executive Director, BAM Ireland commenting, “As a purpose-led business, we aim to create a sustainable infrastructure that meets the needs of society whilst ensuring that we leave a lasting legacy. The continuously increasing loss of species is a serious threat to our planet and our industry can play an important role in reversing this trend. An integral part of our sustainable strategy for 2023 is to have an overall positive biodiversity impact by 2030. This transplantation project is a great example of how BAM can achieve this by working together with Cork County Council and the people of Water-Rock to enhance the biodiversity of their community”.