I first came across Welford Park in conversation with a Buddhist friend of mine. I’ve been into plant photography for ages and I mentioned that I wanted to shoot Snowdrops. She immediately suggested Welford Park so as soon as I could, I headed up there. At first I was taken aback by the amount of visitors. Obviously, the Snowdrop season lasts but a few weeks, so they have to maximise its potential. I would have preferred to get access early in the misty morning but the park doesn’t open before 11am. Because of the Beech trees however, the light is scattered and softened as it glances across the Snowdrops, so creating lovely pictures isn’t hard.
The walk around the Beech Woods can take between half and hour to an hour but I advise you to go slow as the aromas from the flowers are intoxicating. You can also meander along the River Lambourn and the paths are well tended so taking the family isn’t difficult, they’re pram friendly.
Welford Park’s Queen Anne period house and grounds is only open for a few weeks in the Snowdrop season, February. (Check out their web site for exact information.) Set in the heart of the Lambourne Valley near Newbury, the Snowdrops cover a 12 acre site which is quite stunning. The money raised by Welford’s opening supports several local charities including Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust and Thames Valley Lupus Group.