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Woodland Edge

Snowdrop signature


You know those email signatures we all create for a little extra promotion? We don’t usually expect to receive compliments on our sign-offs, but for February we chose a stunning image of winter snowdrops at Dimminsdale Nature Reserve, and it’s getting a great reaction.

We commissioned new images of the snowdrops last year and as soon as we saw them we knew we had something that would really lift everyone’s spirits at this time of year. For me, just a few of these diminutive blooms cheer up winter’s cold, short days, and glimpsed through the trees in the Snowdrop Garden at Dimminsdale, they’re simply breathtaking.

The Nature Reserve – a Site of Special Scientific Interest no less - lies at the head of Staunton Harold Reservoir near Calke Abbey and is managed by Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust. The Reserve’s dingley-dell terrain is a direct result of its history of mineral extraction.  Limestone and lead mining took place in the 18th and 19th centuries and, when these ceased, the quarries flooded to create pools and brooks.  Today the Reserve has the feel of Middle Earth – with its ‘hobbit-y’ pools and winding paths through the mature trees.   

To reach the snowdrop displays, take the circular path around the pool in the heart of the Nature Reserve. You can walk either way around: take the left hand path clockwise over the bridge, and you will walk around the woodland, up to the top of the hill and drop down to the snowdrops. Take the right hand path, going anti-clockwise, and you will walk through the woods, up and down dale a little, then the glade opens before you: a shimmering white quilt across the woodland floor.

See them now whilst they are at their best, but tread carefully and be sure to stay on the paths.  If it’s not too cold, stay out longer and enjoy this lovely part of The National Forest. The National Forest Way, our new 75-mile long distance walking trails winds its way through Dimminsdale and for a restorative cup of warming hot chocolate try nearby Calke Abbey or Staunton Harold.

For directions and further information, visit

Richard Drakeley, Tourism Development & Promotions Officer