Kennet Valley TR Group visit to Welford Park and the wonderful display of Snowdrops
22 Kennet Valley TR Group Members, 2 guests and two Vale of White Horse TR Group members took to the roads to visit Welford Park, Berkshire which is infamous for the 'millions' of Snowdrop displaying themselves in the wonder grounds alongside the River Lambourn.
Snowdrops are nearly always found in abbey ruins and graveyards, and were planted by Norman monks as a symbol of purity and the cleansing of the earth after winter. Some of the greatest snowdrop displays in England were all originally monastic sites such as Walsingham Abbey, Hodsock Priory, Anglesey Abbey and Welford Park.
Welford Park think the snowdrops here were planted by the Norman monks to decorate their Church for the feast of Candlemas, and also for medicinal use. The monks harvested snowdrops and used to rub them on the temple of people suffering from "mal au tete". Close to the snowdrop woods they have also found wild aconitum, petasites and mistletoe all of which have strong healing properties, each year Welford Park make donations to West Berkshire charities.
Snowdrops have been known since the earliest times under various names but were named Galanthus in 1753. As the number of recognised species increased various attempts were made to divide the species into subgroups, usually on the basis of the pattern of the emerging leaves (vernation). Also at Welford park were many other spring flowers and strong displays of yellow wood Anemones. After walking the grounds and thoroughly enjoying this spectacular view and wonderful scent across the light but not too cold breeze, everyone made the 3 minutes journey to the Five Bells public house, Wickham for lunch and a taste of the excellent range of real ales they serve for this popular bar and restaurant. Sarah Buchanan - Manager and her very able team served up the pre-ordered Sunday Roasts and inevitable deserts after the appetites had been increased by the walk. A super day out for Kennet Valley TR Group and friends, great sights, meals and enjoyable day, if you haven't been, we thoroughly recommend it.