GAGIE SNOWDROPS BEHIND SCHEDULE
It is now mid-March and the Gagie snowdrops are looking at their best. The recent miserable, cold spell has kept the earlier ones going and the main plantations in the woods, which are always later, are now out. The snowflakes are also in full flower and here and there purple and white crocuses are peeping out. The snowdrops will keep going until the end of March, so there is plenty of time to come and see them. The recent rain has left the path very wet and boggy in places, so wellies or sturdy footwear are recommended. There are now lots of little Jacob lambs in the field, so have a peek over the walls.
With the increased interest in snowdrops and the creation of the Scottish Snowdrop Festival, we decided to make the Gagie snowdrop plantations accessible and to extend them. A great deal of work was done in 2006 to make paths through the wood on the east side of the burn, incorporating the four existing ponds.
The Gagie Den walk is approximately 1 mile (1.5 km) long and is open from February until May, with interest provided by a succession of spring flowers – snowdrops, daffodils, primroses, bluebells, and candelabra primulas. There are benches along the walk and a picnic table at the Old Quarry pond. There is a car park beside the Gagie grange, which accommodates a do-it-yourself rustic tearoom (help yourself to tea, coffee, juice and biscuits), a small information gallery & wc.
Open daily 10 am - 5 pm. Adults £4.00 Children free
Flora and Fauna
The original snowdrop plantations are quite extensive but the ground has become rather boggy in some places, which does not suit them, so we have been transplanting large numbers of the overcrowded bulbs to drier areas, where they should do better. We are also spreading primroses, violets, cowslips and bluebells. From the end of May, nettles, brambles and docks take over.
The den shelters a wide variety of species. Roe deer are a mixed blessing on account of the damage that they do to the trees. Unfortunately, the first grey squirrels arrived a fewyears ago and there are now no longer any red ones here. There are 3 pairs of buzzards nesting, which help keep the rabbits under control and several greater-spotted woodpeckers. We are also very fortunate in having a pair of kingfishers resident around the pond near the house. Piles of brushwood are left to provide shelter for different species.