Friday, October 17, 2008

Luxury Home vs. Rare Orchid: Who Wins?

We're all familiar with the story. Developer buys undeveloped land, rare plant or animal discovered, ugly battle ensues between environmentalists and in the end the rare plant or animal may or may not be saved for the moment. That's not what happened this time, according to a story out of

Builders of luxury vacation estates in Gloucestershire in England discovered the "nationally scarce" green-flowered Helleborine (Epipactis phyllanthes) on the spot where a 1 million pound (nearly $2 million US) home was slated for construction. After investigating the possiblity of moving the plants they decided to move the house instead.

It sounds like these developers, who apparently have a landscape and ecology manger, are a bit more in touch with the natural resources they're developing.

This isn't the first time nature has dictated terms at The Lakes. Nesting birds forced tree clearance to be postponed for months and a mature tree facing the axe will be protected after being identified as a probable bat roost.

A fence has now gone up around the rare colony [of orchids], which could become part of a nature trail.

Maybe it's easier to think this way when you aren't surrounded by a culture that believes in unlimited land resources.

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