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News release - Issued by National Trust

Snowdrops open at Beningbrough in time for half-term

SAM Shipman has waited 12 months for this day; the day all 200,000 of his newly planted snowdrops at Beningbrough Hall dared to poke their heads out and form a 100 foot long milk white carpet.

Part of the new ha-ha walk designed to introduce visitors to Beningbrough’s less trodden paths, Mr Shipman, the hall’s head gardener, says it has been worth the wait.
“It’s a fantastic sight.” He says. “Last February staff and volunteers came together to plant 300,000 bulbs to mark Beningbrough Hall’s 300th anniversary. Two thirds were snowdrops and just look at them now. Words fail me.”

They’ll fail him again in another 12 months because this vast quantity of new bulbs is just the start of even greater things for the garden. “This is the first bit of the Andy Sturgeon garden vision that we announced last year,” says Mr Shipman. “Andy has been commissioned by the National Trust to rework the gardens at Beningbrough and a long term plan will see the creation of several entirely new gardens. The first is the Pergola garden next to the restaurant that we’ll be starting work on this autumn.”

Until then Mr Shipman and his team will have more than enough to keep them busy. Especially at this time of year. And he might also have some good news for those who believe a mild winter means a rubbish summer. “None of that is ever true,” he says. “The classic ‘lots of berries on a tree means a bad winter ahead’ only confirms what you already know, that it was a good spring.”

However the forecasters are promising milder weather, just in time for the local half-term holiday. On the brand new trail, families can find their way with a map and compass. There are two versions, one for younger members of the family and another for bigger kids. On Wednesday get creative in the free family art workshop and Eden from Stories Alive returns with free story telling session on Friday and Saturday.

Beningbrough Hall, Gallery and Gardens is open Saturday 18 – Sunday 26 February, (closed Monday). Visit or call 01904 472027 for more details.


For more information, contact:

Jo Parker
01904 472017 (direct) / 472027 (office) / 07917 174629 (mobile)

About Beningbrough Hall, Gallery & Gardens

Built in 1716, Beningbrough Hall is a grand red brick mansion just north of York. Today, the hall is home to the National Portrait Gallery’s collection of 18th century portraits, whilst the garden boasts labyrinth paths, grand borders, hidden woods and a working walled kitchen garden.

Visit: Call: 01904 472027
Tweet: @NTBeningbrough Instagram: @nt_york

About the National Trust

The National Trust looks after more than 250,000 hectares of countryside, 775 miles of coastline and hundreds of special places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. For more information and ideas for great value family days out go to: