Fen Orchid (Liparis loeselii) - Species Action Plan

A Red Data book species. A rare plant of pools on fen peat whose loss is directly due to a falling water table. Photo of fen orchid taken by Chris Smith
(Photo credit: Chris Smith)
Ref 1/S27 Species Action Plan 27
Plan Author: Norfolk Wildlife Trust
Plan Co-ordinator: Norfolk Wildlife Trust
Final Draft 31 December 1998
Revised Final Draft 11 March 2004

Action Plan Summary

Current Status

National Status

  • This species is listed on Annexes 11(b) and IV(c) of the EC Habitats Directive and is protected under schedule 4 of the Conservation (Natural Habitats) Regulations 1994 and schedule 8 of the WCA 1981.
  • Two populations occur. One (var. ovata) is restricted to dune slacks in South Wales whereas var. loeselii is found at 3 fens in the Broads Natural Area.

Norfolk Status

  • Three populations are known to occur and are kept confidential.

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Current factors causing loss or decline in Norfolk

Hydrological status of fens including too much water. Management of some potential introduction sites may still be sub optimal. In addition the general hydroseral development of fens and the loss of early successional stages after peat cutting is probably a long term threat.

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Current Action in Norfolk

All extant sites are generally undergoing appropriate management in the short term at least. In addition management of SSSIs is generally contributing toward the better management of fens and potential sites for possible introduction. Monitoring of extant sites is undertaken on a periodic basis. Introduction of plants to former sites has occurred and work continues on this.

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Action Plan Objectives and Targets


  • Maintain existing populations
  • Where feasible re-establish at 6 sites


  • Maintain extant populations
  • Where feasible re-establish at 3 sites by 2010

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