A bloomin’ great tradition: Snowdrops are out in Greatham and nature trail is ready

BEAUTIFUL SIGHT: Head gardener John Churchman, centre, with his staff Helen Hayles and James Ayre getting ready for the annual snowdrop afternoon

BEAUTIFUL SIGHT: Head gardener John Churchman, centre, with his staff Helen Hayles and James Ayre getting ready for the annual snowdrop afternoon

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VISITORS to Greatham will be treated once again to one of the best displays of snowdrops in the region.

The Hospital of God will open its private wood to the public to marvel at the pretty flowers next weekend.

And organisers say they are in for a treat this year.

Hospital of God head gardener John Churchman and his staff have been busy preparing the trail.

John said: “We have done some extensive planting in other areas for this year to make the walk a bit longer and give people value for money.

“Ten years ago we expanded the walk to take it right up to the bank side where they are more prominent.

“There is a host of snowdrops so it looks really nice because there is such a high concentration in such a small area.

“Alan McManus of Houghall college has been all over the region and he says we are one of the best.”

The walk takes place on Sunday, February 22, between 1pm and 4.30pm.

Proceeds from the event go to the Greatham In Bloom group.

Bloom chairman Dorothy Clark said: “It is our biggest fundraising day of the year.

“I helps us to buy all the plants, shrubs, and stone troughs that we use in the village and for the work we do.

“People really look forward to it and we get the same people come every year.

“They come from Durham right down to Yorkshire.

“It is the finest display of snowdrops you will see.”

Dorothy also thanked the trustees of the Hospital of God who give permission for the private wood to be opened to the public.

“Without the Hospital of God we wouldn’t have snowdrop day,” she said.

Entry to the wood is through the gate opposite Greatham Community Centre, on Front Street, where tickets and warming refreshments will be on sale.

Walkers will also be able to hear some of the Hospital of God’s 742 year history.

Admission is £2 for adults and £1 for children.