By Jonnel Benjamin
Extra security guards have been drafted in to prevent thieves wrecking Leeds’ entry at the 100th Chelsea Flower Show.
Le Jardin de Yorkshire, created by tourism organisation Welcome to Yorkshire, includes the UK’s rarest orchid The Lady’s Slipper, which is strictly protected by law and worth thousands of pounds to unscrupulous collectors.
The orchid is featured in the display, which celebrates Yorkshire’s successful bid to host the Tour de France.
Welcome to Yorkshire teamed up with Cypripedium Committee, botanical experts who look after the orchids’ conservation and protection.
Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “When you have the UK’s rarest orchid on your garden you need to take every precaution to protect it. I am sure people will flock to see this rare specimen and to learn more about its successful conservation programme.”
The flower is planted across North Yorkshire and can only be visited in a handful of location including Kilnsey Park Estate in North Yorkshire.
Jamie Roberts, managing director of Kilnsey Park Estate, who is closely involved with the conservation programme, said: “While security is uppermost in all our minds, so is raising awareness of the plant’s success story, from the brink of extinction to being showcased at the world’s most famous flower show in its 100th year.”
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show runs from May 21 – 25 and the Wild About Orchids festival at Kilnsey Park Estate, North Yorkshire, featuring the Lady’s Slipper orchids, runs from May 25 to June 2.