Rare orchid stops development of Jade Jagger’s eco-home project


Environmentalists aren't necessarily all flower-loving hippies, but I'd be lying if I said this recent news item doesn't give me a case of the warm-and-fuzzies. Jade Jagger, fashion designer and daughter of Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger, designed the interiors for 58 eco-homes in the Cotswalds. But when a rare orchid was discovered growing on the site of the planned development by Lake Longdoles, the development's location had to be shifted.  

The orchid, Epipactis phyllanthes, or Green-flowered Helleborine, was described as "nationally scarce" by Ben Pollard, the development's landscape and ecology manager. The plant would have been easy to miss, as it's on the short side and mostly green, but now a fence is protecting the 20 or so found specimens. There's now talk of turning the surrounding area into a nature trail, so the story keeps getting greener.

The development is called the Lakes, and the sustainably sourced timber and glass buildings are being built as second homes (OK, that part is not so green) in an effort to make the Cotswalds a UK version of the Hamptons. Accordingly, some of its homes will have a million-pound price tag. Before the orchid discovery, other concessions had been made to Mother Nature: clearing of trees was delayed in deference to nesting birds, and one tree that was determined to be a probable bat roost was saved from being cut down.

"On my watch concerns for nature will often override builders' requirements," said Pollard.

Ms. Jagger isn't new to environmental involvement. Earlier this year, she was on hand to launch the world's first eco-club in London, Surya, which claims that 60 percent of its electricity is harnessed from people dancing on the dance floor (known as piezoelectric power). She designed a limited-edition T-shirt to benefit The Climate Project, an organization which aims to educate and motivate the masses about global warming. And Jade had a summer home of her own on Ibiza before moving to London full-time: It was an eco-friendly, 18th-century farmhouse with an organic vegetable garden (Jade has been known to tout her organic diet), shared with her longtime boyfriend, children, dogs, and goats. I'm going to go out on a limb and say it must be nice to have a rich rock-star dad.

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