The purple flower in this picture is one of 15 rare pyramidal orchids found in the orchid verge off Pertuis Avenue in Alton.

A volunteer from Alton and Villages Local Action for Nature (AVLAN) also found 140 common spotted orchids and ten bee orchids during a walk along this Recognised Verge of Ecological Importance.

Earlier this year AVLAN asked Hampshire County Council to stop mowing the verge. Jenny Griffiths of AVLAN said: “And what a difference not mowing makes. The orchids are thriving in the unmown strip alongside the margins of the woodland.”