The National Trust took over the site in 1982 when the Kingston Lacy estate was passed over to the charity by the Bankes family.
The improved conservation of this chalk downland has been achieved with hard work undertaken by the National Trust with the help of volunteers and organisations such as The Princes Trust. The warmer winter and spring has lead to an explosion in the numbers and varieties of wild flowers on the site. These include a number of rare orchids that should be on display until the end of July, including huge swathes of the common spotted orchid alongside the greater butterfly, bee, pyramid, fragrant and common twayblade.
Peter Samson, lead ranger for the National Trust at Kingston Lacy said: “It’s great to see after so much hard work, the benefits are really paying off. I’ve worked here for 26 years, and this is certainly the best I’ve seen.”
British orchids are often rather restrained, spikey and elegant pastel colours, compared to their tropical cousins and there are roughly 50 species of wild orchid, which is useful for those attempting to spot all of them in just one summer. The team at Kingston Lacy is hoping that Badbury Rings can become a landmark in orchid spotting thanks to the careful conservation work and management of the site.