Mendip Students discuss illegal wildlife crime with Dr Thérèse Coffey MP

Students from the Mendip Studio School met scientists and policy makers from across the globe at  the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference: London 2018.


Year 13 student, Chloe explained “We have been working with scientists from the University of Oxford and Lancaster University to present the issue of plants threatened by illegal trade. We designed a display that uses our school orchid plants to highlight both the nature of the threat, and the sustainable alternatives that could protect species.”


The students’ work attracted considerable interest from politicians, scientists and conservationists including Dr Thérèse Coffey, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).


Year 12 student, Jess  said: “Dr Coffey was fascinated to hear our perspective on the illegal trade in orchids as well as our work at Mendip Studio School and Writhlington School with communities in Africa and Asia.”


A number of scientists are keen to develop links with Writhlington School and Mendip Studio School in the future and Science Teacher, Simon Pugh-Jones is confident of new opportunities for students to make a real difference to the future of rare plant species and the communities that share their rainforest habitats.


The work of students and their partner scientists will be on show to the public at the British Orchid Show which will be held at Writhlington School on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th November. The show is the UK’s biggest orchid event and will include orchid traders from across Europe, tours of the famous school orchid houses and lectures giving help and advice on growing orchids. Full details are available at


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