Shropshire Star

National Trust attractions looking forward to spring transformation and half-term activities

Winter flowers are set to welcome the first visitors of the year at National Trust properties across the region.

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Snowdrops at Attingham Park. Picture: Jayne Gough

The conservation charity is encouraging everyone to wrap up warm and set off on an adventure in nature, with snowdrops, hellebores and winter crocuses some of the first flowers to emerge from the winter soil.

Attingham Park, Dudmaston Hall, Kinver Edge and Benthall Hall will all be embracing the first signs of spring – and half-term activities.

Claire Hale, visitor experience manager at Benthall Hall and Kinver Edge said: “It’s a pleasure to open our doors as the very first signs of spring start to appear.

"Creamy, purple hellebores greet us in the February garden at Benthall Hall, along with the crocuses which look like hundreds and thousands sprinkled on the frosty ground.

Hellebores at Benthall Hall. Picture: Chris Lacey

"At Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses, our famous Rock Cakes are back on the tea-room menu, along with lots of other treats, baked fresh on site every day. Explore these fascinating cave homes, where people lived right up until the 1960s or venture up to the hillfort on Kinver Edge for expansive views across the three counties of Shropshire, Staffordshire and Worcestershire."

On February 10, 11, 17 and 18, the Dingle walk, bookshops and playground will be open at Dudmaston Hall.

Visitors will be able to spot snowdrops from the Dingle path and watch winter wildlife on the big pool.

People can also stop off at the Orchard Tea-room for hot drinks, warming lunches, cakes and bakes.

Dogs on leads are welcome in all outdoor spaces and admission applies, with free entry for National Trust members.

Snowdrops in the dingle at Dudmaston.

Families can also follow a free spotter trail in Comer Woods, available daily from the welcome team in the car park during half term, from February 10 to 18.

The Cafe in Comer Woods will be serving takeaway hot drinks, snacks and treats and parking is free for National Trust members, or £5 daily.

Benthall Hall, near Broseley, will also be opening from Saturday.

A spokesman for the National Trust said: "With the Benthall family able to trace its lineage back to the Anglo-Saxon period on this site, the history associated with this house is remarkable.

"From being battle scarred by canon fire during the Civil War, to providing a home for the distinguished botanist and tilemaker George Maw and playing its part in the Industrial Revolution - Benthall has so many fascinating stories to tell.

"The property opens Saturday to Wednesday from Saturday, February 10, with the garden opening at 12.30pm and the house opening at 1pm.

"The Shepherd’s Shed will be serving takeaway hot and cold drinks, snacks and sweet treats in the car park. Admission applies, free entry for National Trust members."

At Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses, near Stourbridge, from February 10 to 18, the Rock Houses, garden and tea-room will be open daily from 10.30am.

Visitors can spot snowdrops growing in the meadow and imagine what life was like living inside a sandstone cave. Admission apples with free entry for National Trust members.

At Kinver Edge people can also book tickets to take part in Forest School sessions with Flatpack Adventures on February 12 and 13.

Youngsters can build a den, learn some traditional bushcraft techniques and cook some treats on the campfire. The events cost £12 per child, with accompanying adults free of charge.

Meanwhile at Attingham Park, near Shrewsbury, the historic venue will be entering enter 'Snowdrop Watch' as they eagerly wait for the first of the snowdrops to flower, transforming the woodlands into a spectacular carpet of white and green.

A spokesman for the venue said: "As snowdrop season begins and the woodland floor transforms, why not wrap up warm and take a refreshing stroll to Attingham's magical carpet of snowdrops. At Attingham, you'll find the best displays in the woodland around the Mile Walk, flourishing in the damp woodlands areas with partial shade.

"From Thursday, February 15, to Saturday, February 17, visitors arriving between 5.30pm and 6.45pm will be able to enjoy the snowdrops atmospherically lit amidst the twilight. Admission applies, free entry for National Trust members."

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