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Storm Dennis scuppers first snowdrop open day at Gardens of Easton Lodge




With Storm Dennis bringing high winds and heavy rain this weekend, the Gardens of Easton Lodge has cancelled its first snowdrop open day of the season on Sunday (February 16).

Trustees decided that it was likely to be neither safe nor enjoyable for its volunteers to welcome visitors to the attraction near Great Dunmow.

Jill Goldsmith, a trustee who lives in Barrells Down Road, Bishop's Stortford, said: "It's such a shame – last year we were basking in record February heat!

Snowdrops at the Gardens of Easton of Lodge (29210263)
Snowdrops at the Gardens of Easton of Lodge (29210263)

"We've worked over the winter to add a wooden gazebo so we have additional catering capacity and were all ready to roll."

An ancient lime tree at the gardens was brought down in Storm Ciara’s winds last Sunday (February 9). The tree was part of Harold Peto’s 1902 garden redesign, within an avenue of pines and limes which bordered the sweeping walk down to the lake.

Fortunately many others remain, as the trustees will be welcoming experts from the Tree Register later in February to see if any of these and other trees in the gardens still count as county champion trees, due to their height or girth.

The ancient lime tree that was brought down by the Storm Ciara winds (29210268)
The ancient lime tree that was brought down by the Storm Ciara winds (29210268)

The snowdrops and daffodils were not affected by the winds, so should be looking beautiful for the second snowdrop Sunday on February 23.

Trust volunteers will provide visitors with a range of refreshments: home-made soup, bacon, cheese or hummus rolls, home-made cakes and hot drinks. There will be snowdrops in the green and other plants on sale, as well as greeting cards and other mementos.

The gardens will be open from 11.30am to 4pm (last entry 3pm). Guided tours will be available at 12.30pm.

Further information is available on the gardens website at www.eastonlodge.co.uk. To enquire about visiting, volunteering, hosting a talk about the gardens or arranging a private group tour, email enquiries@eastonlodge.co.uk or call 01371 876979 and leave a message.

Storm Dennis will bring heavy rain and widespread strong winds to many parts of the UK on Saturday and Sunday, though it is not expected to be as extreme as Storm Ciara last weekend and the East of England is expected to escape the worst.


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