British school students return rare plant to the Himalayas

A groundbreaking conservation project linking Writhlington School students with the gardeners of Gangtok is making a real difference in Himalayan conservation as well as providing a model for effective international community co-operation.

Students at Writhlington who have become experts in orchids and raising these exotic plants from seed in a dedicated propagation laboratory have used their skills to help the future of one of the world’s rarest orchid species.

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Recent Updates

There are some updates that our happening now, some that have happened and some that we plan to impement over the next couple of weeks.

Firstly, all news items is now catagorised.  This makes it easy for you to find the particular information that your looking for about our projects.  These can all be found on the right hand panel.

Comments:  Since re-instating the comments system we have be getting a large amount of Spam.  Our plan to combat this is to have terms and conditions that all people commenting will have to accept.  This will allow us to trace some of the big companies who leave advertising spam and fine them.

Please do not be detered from posting comments if you have something that you want to say.  All comments are moderated by a human being so there is no chance of your orchid related comment being mistaken for an advert!

Finally, IE6 users.  Currently we are aware that this website doesn’t work in MS Internet Explorer 6.  I am told that this is because it uses different pixel sizes.  All I know is that it doesn’t work as our school runs IE6!  I am also told that a new design is in the pipeline to combat this issue.


Seedling Portfolios

Those of you who are very observant may have noticed the new button on the navigation bar at the top.  If you haven’t already, look at it, it’s the one that says ‘seedling portfolio’ on it, looks just like any other button I hear you say.

Well, your half right, but it’s what happens when you press the button that is really exciting!  After a long day working on the website I managed to do what no one has ever done before – convert all of our seedling portfolio information pages to PDF and upload them to the website.

But you don’t want to hear about how hard it was for me to upload them, you want to hear about how it will benefit you.  Well, if you have ever bought a plant from us then the chances are that it will have an information sheet in the portfolio.  This tells you useful information such as your plant’s flowering season and at what temperature to keep it at.

So go on, press that shiny new button!


Sikkim 2009

Exciting news – the orchid project is going to Sikkim!

The Sikkim Himalayan project had been working slowly for about three years now.  The Project involves students in the lab growing the rare species ‘Cymbidium Whitea’.  There are very few of these plants remaining in the wild and they are only known to come from a small area around Gangtok.

The Cymbidium Whitea’s are now fully grown and can’t wait to come out of their flasks.  The trip to Sikkim will give them that opportunity.  This is as close to re-introduction of a species that we have ever done at writhlington.  We believe that re-introduction is pointless unless you tackle the problem that has made them close to extinction in the first place.  With the Whitea this is easy, as their main threat is collection.

The plan is to give everyone at the Annual Gangtok orchid fair a flask of Cymbidium Whitea and tell them how to look after it.  The plant will then be common in the area and people won’t cut it down from the wild.  Another benefit from this is that when the plant flowers, it will be in it’s natural environment, with it’s natural pollinators.  With us more than doubling the population of Cymbidium Whitea, and each seed pod producing 2.6 million seeds, the wild population should quickly recover.

The expedition is set to depart on 27th March 2009 and arrive back on 10th April.  As usual with our trips we are hoping to keep you up to date via the wonder that is the internet and our website.

Stay tuned for more information!


Chelsea Confirmation

The Writhlington Orchid Project recieved confirmation today of it’s place at the Chelsea Flower Show 2009.

This is brilliant and much celebration has been taking place, in amongst much increaced production! We are all looking forward to this Chelsea as we have a new display, new students and, most impostantly, new stories!

We are situated in the Lifelong Learning section of the main Pavilion, so feel free to come and say hello!