Posted on Friday 26th January
Just 50 yards from the road bridge, on the B587 towards Calke Abbey, you’ll find the entrance to the woodland. Take a short walk into the woods, and there, if your timing is right, will be masses of snowdrops with their unspoken promise of springtime to come.
The Nature Reserve – a Site of Special Scientific Interest no less 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. Remember to tread carefully and be sure to stay on the paths – the flowers are delicate and there are several old mine shafts in the woodland.
If it’s not too cold, stay out longer and enjoy this lovely part of The National Forest. The National Forest Way, our 75-mile long distance walking trail winds its way through Dimminsdale and for a restorative cup of warming hot chocolate try nearby Calke Abbey or the tearoom at the Ferrers Centre.
For directions and further information as to when the snowdrops are looking their best, visit http://www.lrwt.org.uk/nature-reserves/dimminsdale/