March 9 2014 Latest news:
Sunday, February 2, 2014
Drifts of fragile flowers have transformed the grounds of medieval priory ruins into a carpet of white.
About 110 people headed out to Walsingham Abbey for the first day of the season of its snowdrop walks - a week to 10 days before the delicate flowers will be in full bloom.
The historical site, which was once one of the most famous pilgrimage shrines in Europe, boasts 18 acres carpeted with the emblems of the emergence of spring.
Now open to snowdrop seekers daily throughout this month, paths pass the ruins of the once-magnificent abbey and cross an ancient packhorse bridge into woods sparkling with the fragile winter flowers.
Elizabeth Meath Baker, who lives at the abbey, said: “It was a beautiful day and for the first day of the season, we were very lucky to have a beautiful, clear, sunny day after all the rain we’ve had recently. It brought a lot of people out and long may it continue and we look forward to the rest of the month.”
She added: “There are just carpets and carpets of snowdrops and because they are extremely close, they are very dense and it looks like snow - it’s beautiful.”
The abbey will once again host its charity snowdrop day this month. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, February 15 and will be in aid of the Norfolk Hospice.
The day traditionally coincides with the snowdrops being at their best.
Last year’s charity event saw between 700 and 800 people turn out and it raised £3,000 which was divided between the Gurkha welfare Trust and Help for Heroes.
Mrs Meath Baker said: “If it’s a day like Saturday and the snowdrops are fully out, we hope to get a large number of people out which will be amazing for the charity.”
Walsingham Abbey grounds are open for snowdrops daily throughout February, from 10am to 4pm.