Hainault Forest Website

Written and Designed by Brian Ecott

Hainault's Orchids

Broad-leaved helleborine Epipactis helleborine


These are the first photographs taken on a roll of Kodak ASA 64 Colour  slide film of  Broad-leaved helleborines that I found in the forest in June 2002.

I had previously seen them in Havering Park and other local woodlands.

Scanning the photos from slides  has led to poor quality images.

Photographs Brian Ecott


Broad-leaved helleborine in the woodland where it was originally found 11th August 2010 Photos Brian Ecott

Broad-leaved Helleborine Epipactis helleborine.

Five sites for this orchid have been found this year along woodland rides especially where there is ivy cover. 10th July 2017.  Photo Brian Ecott


The Bee Orchid  Ophrys apifera

June 2010

One of the good pieces of news  in 2010 was the discovery of Bee orchids Ophrys apifera in the Country Park on the 22nd June 2010.  I was on my way home and was checking for Broad-leaved helleborine Epipactis helleborine last seen in 2002 when I stumbled upon the Bee orchids. Five spikes in all.

On notifying  the Country Park manager Mr Paul Browne I returned  home  only to find an e-mail from Peter Comber saying that they had been seen and photographed earlier in the day by Gordon Barber.


Photographs right Gordon Barber  22 June 2010


Bee orchid Ophrys apifera. Above right the orchid is showing a pollen sac (pollinia) hanging. 27th June 2013. Photographs Michael Rumble

Group of Bee orchids Ophrys apifera 30th June 2013

This magnificent close up of a Bee orchid Ophrys apifera flower was taken on the 9th June 2014 at the lake edge. It was one of several highlights occurring in the Country Park this month. Seven plants were seen at this site and one plant flowered at another site accidentally destroyed by  cutting last year. It is intended to map the sites of special wildlife interest to safeguard vulnerable species.   Photograph Michael Rumble


Bee orchid Ophrys apifera 22nd June 2014 (left) and

found at two sites on the 10th June 2015.


Photographs Brian Ecott 








A record of 31 spikes of the Bee orchid Orchis apifera were counted  in 2016. Photo Brian Ecott. 7th June 2016. A further 7 spikes were found at a new site which is very encouraging.


The  flowers above shows two pollinia. The bee orchid doesn't shed pollen like other flowers The visiting bee attempts to mate with the flower and the pollinia are broken off and carried off to another flower.

Photographs Michael Rumble 14th June 2016


Bee orchid  Ophrys apifera. near the Lake, This year we have discovered another three sites in the forest.

3rd June 2017. Photo Brian Ecott.

Inset Michael Rumble

Green-winged orchid Orchis morio

Staff discovered this tiny Green winged orchid Orchis morio near the top of Hoghill while out grass cutting on 22nd May 2015. A circular patch of grassland was left around it, and a week later it was still there.

Its name is from the description of the sepals (a fly has alighted on one) which are greenish with red veins. The lip below is spotted and three lobed. The leaf is unspotted but in the picture (below centre) it has been grazed.


Photographs Michael Rumble

Common Spotted orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii ssp. fuchsii

Common spotted orchid on Woodland Trust's new land at Havering Park Farm. 10th June 2007.

Photographs above Brian Ecott

Common spotted orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii  25th June 2012. The Oak path. Photographs Brian Ecott

Unfortunately after the picture was taken the edge of the path was strimmed and the orchid lost. It didn't return.











A solitary spike of Common spotted-orchid

Dactylorhiza fuchsii ssp fuchsii was found by the lake on the 13th June 2014.

It was a tall spike c.37cm (15") and the leaves spotted.

Photographs Brian Ecott (left and above).


Left and above:

Common spotted Orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii ssp fuchsii

Photographed in the Country Park on the 9th June 2015. Photo Brian Ecott


I was lucky to spot this female White death Crab spider Misumena vatia  feeding on a fly that it had ambushed by hiding in the Common spotted orchid. Misumena vatia  spiders can be white or yellow often with reddish markings making themselves practically invisible to prey items.    

11th June 2015  Photographs Brian Ecott














Two spikes of the Common Spotted orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii ssp. fuchsii was found at its usual site on the

7th June 2016. Photo   Brian Ecott


Pyramidal orchid Anacamptis pyramidalis

A lone spike of a Pyramidal orchid was discovered by Country Park warden Emily 12th July 2019 and photographed Raymond Small.

The orchid pictured must have been fully out earlier in the month as the lower flowers on the spike have finished flowering.

Another great find.