Congrats Dan

As some of you may be aware, today (19/08) is A-Level results day.  As you may have gathered from the graphic above, our web designer, Dan Groves, achieved 3 A’s in Business and ICT and is off to study Web Application Design at The University of Plymouth!

A big “Well Done” from all of us at the Writhlington Orchid Project and an enormous “Thank You” for the past 7 years that you have dedicated to the project.  You will be missed.


Rain glorious rain

John checking the rain water storage tank
John checking the rain water storage tank

Good news blog watchers… rained on sports day, a bit of a pain for the unicycle race but great news for the orchids. At Writhlington we water our plants with rainwater because tap water in Radstock has too many dissolved salts (a conductivity of around 500 micro-siemens). Rain water has a conductivity of just 20 micro-siemens so we can add useful plant food to take it up to around 400 micro-siemens before watering it onto the orchids. For the new greenhouses we specified a rainwater storage tank that holds 16,000 litres of water collected from the 240 square metres of greenhouse roof. During the dry period of March, April, May and June the tank level fell to just 4000 litres but after sports day it is full again…hurrah. It is the last day of term so I would like to thank all of the students who have worked so hard for the orchid Project and made 2009/2010 such a fantastic year.


Work Experience – Day 10 – Final Day

And so ends two very enjoyable and interesting two weeks, today was a finishing off day with my report and micropropagation being finished and has now been uploaded (Micropropagation Report – J.O’Rourke). I also helped sow seeds from the native, common spotted orchid which we had collected yesterday from the local area.

As this is my final blog post I would like to thank the Writhlington Orchid Project for their welcoming and friendly atmosphere.  In particular I would like to thank Simon for organising the placement and helping me throughout. I would also like to thank Luke Barnes for his help and expertees for the duration of the placement. I wish all the best to the Project in the future and am looking forward to coming to the Autumn Festival in September.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog
John  O’Rourke – Year 10 Student, King Arthur’s Community School, Wincanton.


Work Experience – Day 9 + Sports Day

Another very eventful day with the Orchid with the large part of the day given over to school sports day. The morning however was spent seed sowing, something that despite almost two weeks worth of practice I still struggle with – although I am getting better.

Sports Day was a very enjoyable afternoon with Simon Pugh-Jones providing some light hearted entertainment on the Sports Day PA system. We did however get a taste of the British summer with quite a lot of rain towards the end, this though did not dampen spirits. The finale of the sports day was the unicycle race with the competitors having to deal with some very wet and slippery conditions. The race was closely fought with Luke Shackleton taking the title.
Below are a couple of photos of the days events.

Check back tomorrow for my final blog post.


Work Experience – Day 8

A different day today at the Orchid Project but nevertheless very interesting and enjoyable, with the morning spent compiling a report on micropropagation and conservation of orchids. Hopefully, I will be able to put the report up on the website this week for anyone who is interested.
The afternoon was spent learning new techniques, beginning with a re-potting session for orchids that had grown too big for the laboratory jars. After re-potting I also tried my hand at pollination which as you can see from the pictures below is a rather fiddly task. Tomorrow is school sports day and so tomorrow may also be a bit different!

Check back tomorrow for another update.