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Rare Orchids uprooted by Kent County Council ready for Brexit

By Paul Francis

Brexit contingency plans have led to thousands of rare orchids being uprooted by Kent County Council to make way for a drainage ditch.

Around 17,000 plants were bulldozed by Kent County Council as part of preparations for a No Deal Brexit.

Volunteers had maintained the orchids at Blue Bell Hill Roadside Nature Reserve for 15 years.

British conservation charity Plantlife posted pictures of Blue Bell Hill Reserve before and after the ditch was made (8592567)
British conservation charity Plantlife posted pictures of Blue Bell Hill Reserve before and after the ditch was made (8592567)

The ditch was created in the event of flooding if queues built up on the road towards Dover. It could take more than eight years for the flowerbed to be restored.

Kent County Council has promised to meet the costs of replanting the orchids.

The Kent Wildlife Trust said: "Following discussions with Kent County Council we will be working together to restore the Bluebell Hill Roadside Nature Reserve over the next few weeks.

"This work needs to be done sensitively by hand and KCC will be funding equipment, tools and refreshments for staff and volunteers to join in this effort.

"This has been a devastating and upsetting event but we are pleased that KCC have recognised this and reacted swiftly to help us put it right."

A Kent County Council spokesman said: "Drainage works were required to improve the existing system to prevent flooding and aquaplaning on the A229.

"We have met with the Kent Wildlife Trust and will be funding remediation works alongside discussions about the long-term management of the site."

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