Saturday 17 February
2pm – 3.30pm
Find out more about the delicate beauty of the snowdrop on this walk. Gwyneth will guide you across the estate to look at these lovely white flowers which are peeping through the grass alongside the shady woodland paths. Meet at Porter’s Lodge. Normal admission charges apply.
Spring is just around the corner at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal. Visit now or during February half-term to see thousands of snowdrops growing in drifts around the abbey and woodlands.
Carpets of these beautiful flowers can be found in the woodland leading down to the abbey from the visitor centre, in the grass near the abbey ruins, and in the edges of the woodlands by the paths leading from the abbey to the water garden.
Steve Elton, a gardener at the World Heritage Site, said “Most of the snowdrops were originally planted by the gardeners employed at Studley Royal house. There was a tradition back then where all sorts of flowers were grown early (or ‘force grown’) in greenhouses. It was all about showing off – who could grow their flowers the earliest? The snowdrops here were force grown to create elaborate displays in the house over Christmas and then thrown out in to the garden after Christmas.”
He added, “Some were planted by local families in the late 1990s and of course, they have spread and grown naturally too over the years. A former owner, Earl De Grey, also asked his gardeners to plant and spell his name out in snowdrops on the bank of the river Skell in the 1850s – some of which can still be seen to this day.”
Although snowdrops are hardy flowers, the gardening team take special care to ensure that the snowdrops grow to their very best each year for visitors to see. Snowdrop duties include raking leaves and debris from the woodland edges, and pruning and thinning the areas too in order to allow plenty of light in to encourage growth.
Don’t think you’re little ones would want to do the whole snowdrop walk? Take a break after you’ve seen the beautiful flowers with a run around the playground, stop and make a den or join them for some other fun half term activities:
Children’s Craft At Swanley
Saturday 10 February – 18 February
11am – 4pm
Bring the family along to get stuck into candleholder making – medieval style!
Make A Lantern
Monday 12 February – 14 February
10am, 11.30am, 1.30pm, 3pm
Get creative and make your very own lantern to light up the winter months. £5 BE Tel: 01765 643189
Please visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/fountainsabbey
Photo credit: Jonathan Pow