A snowdrop walk in Fife

Snowdrops in Balbirnie Park.

snowdrops, Balbirnie Park, Fife

I spoke to an elderly man who told me that these snowdrops were grown commercially originally and as a young lad he had picked them and packed them into boxes for sale in the cities. The Victorian estate is probably why there was a railway station nearby.

snowdrops, Balbirnie Park, Fife


snowdrops , Balbirnie Park, Fife

There are several places advertising snowdrop walks, in rural estates where you have to pay for the privilege, but there is probably somewhere near you where you can admire the snowdrops for free. Within Fife in the east of Scotland there are swathes of snowdrops in Falkland, Glenrothes and Balbirnie Park. Unfortunately the snowdrops don’t look great in these photos, but the burn (stream) and trees look fairly scenic.

If you look closely at the photo below you’ll see a heron, almost in the middle of it, I love those birds but a friend of mine thinks they look like vultures and can’t stand them, I think they look elegant.

heron , Balbirnie Park, Fife

Balbirnie has some great trees in it, even some redwoods, but some haven’t survived.

Balbirnie Park, Fife, trees

Sadly, with all the terrible storms we’ve had to endure this winter there were also quite  a few trees which had been blown over. The saddest one is in the photo below, I think it was a beech tree, going from the smoothness of the trunk, but it’s hard to tell when there are no leaves on trees and you can’t even see the shape that it grew in. If it was a beech tree it looks like it must have been between 150 and 200 years old, beech trees tend to fall over after 200 years anyway. It damaged some other trees on the way down,  but bizarrely it landed across the length of what was a lovely wee stone  bridge, and is now blocking it completely, I’m just amazed that the bridge hasn’t collapsed under the immense weight of the tree, but one side of it is badly damaged. It’s on council land and given the state of the budget it’s doubtful if it will ever be fixed.

fallen tree, Balbirnie Park, Fife

As you can see they have already cut up some of the tree, but maybe they are waiting for more experienced people to deal with the rest of it. It’ll be an awkward job.

fallen tree , snowdrops , stone bridge, Balbirnie, Fife

You can just see the intact side of the small bridge through the leaves in the photo above.

Balbirnie Park, fallen tree, Fife

So many trees are lost with every storm we get, and as this winter they’ve been coming at the rate of two a week at times, it’s time some serious tree replacement started.


4 thoughts on “A snowdrop walk in Fife

  1. I love the idea of a snowdrop walk, although if spring plants start coming up too early here they will be frozen by unexpected snow. We have lost a lot of trees too, including one whose remnants are still in my driveway. Worse, iwhen it fell, ithe roots of its four neighbors were damaged so they have to be taken down.

    When I visited Bletchley Park nearly two years ago, I was very surprised how close the train station was to the house. I was sure I had read books where the characters wandered around in the dark from the station but maybe they were going to their rented homes and not back to headquarters.

    • Stefanie,
      A few years ago we had about 18 inches of snow just after the snowdrops flowered and the snow stayed there for a few weeks, but when it melted the snowdrops were still in perfect condition! It sounds like you were lucky that tree didn’t hit your house, a lot of local trees have bene damaged by being waterlogged for ages, then when the wind arrives the roots get pulled up really easily.
      We had a great time at Bletchley Park but like you were surprised that the railway station was so close. Balbirnie House and the estate pre-date the arrival of railways by a couple of hundred years, but the Victorian Balfour family (part of the prime minister Balfour’s family) must have wanted the railway fairly nearby, but not too close, it’s a walk of 1.5 miles or so to the station from the ‘big hoose’ which is now a hotel, but no doubt they didn’t have to walk!

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