Bloomin’ marvels...

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Students at St Helens College were buzzing after discovering a rare wild flower on the campus grounds.

The eye-catching Bee Orchid, named for its resemblance to a bumblebee, was found by a group studying animal care at the college’s Technology Campus on Pocket Nook Street.

The rare orchid discovered at St Helens College's Pocket Nook campus

The rare orchid discovered at St Helens College's Pocket Nook campus

Common in Mediterranean countries, it is normally only found growing in south eastern parts of England.

Because they are only expected to flower once in their lifetime, the plant is legally protected from disturbances to its habitat.

The discovery was made by students conducting a survey of the campus’ wildlife.

Michael Smillie, animal care tutor, praised students for spotting the rare flower.

Shesaid: “We were very surprised and happy to discover the slow growing Bee Orchid, a rare plant up north, especially since my students made the discovery within such an urban environment such as our campus.

“We hope the protected orchids return next year in increased numbers.”