Posted on 1st February 2015
The days start to lengthen noticeably in February but it can still be very cold, particularly at night. A few birds do start to sing and even build nests; early blooms of Primrose and other woodland plants can sometimes be found.
Our shortest month witnesses the famous flowering of carpets of Snowdrops at the Trust’s Dimminsdale nature reserve. The Snowdrops are thought to have been introduced to this site long ago when people lived and worked there. The plants can be found at the far side of the main entrance in what was once the garden of Shaw’s Cottage.
The nature reserve, near Staunton Harold in north-west Leicestershire, is a fascinating place at any time of the year but probably the best time to visit is in February.
Dimminsdale has a fascinating industrial history that was researched for the Trust by one of its members, local landscape historian Tony Squires. There is more information on our website, and you can obtain a pdf copy of a full colour leaflet describing Dimminsdale’s history and wildlife by emailing [email protected]
Species of the month: Snowdrop
Often thought of as a British native wild flower, the snowdrop Galanthus nivlalis has more probably escaped under the garden fence and become widely naturalised.
Found in many woodlands, churchyards, parks, and gardens, snowdrops are some of the first bulbs of the year to bloom. The snowdrop’s hardened leaf tips can push through frozen soil but the downside to flowering in winter is that pollinating insects are scarce, so the carpets of snowdrops we see will have taken many years to develop.
Photograph: Neill Talbot/LRWT