Snowdrops have again proved a blooming big hit at Lytham Hall, with more than 2,000 people coming through the gates to admire them during February.
Officials at the Hall say it’s the biggest turnout in recent years and are particularly delighted at the boost the crowds have brought to the coffers at the Georgian gem, which suffered a major blow to refurbishment hopes when it lost out on a £1.7m heritage lottery grant last summer.
This year, for the first time, the Hall grounds were open for four full weekends of the snowdrop walks, while free outdoor tours on Sunday afternoons were also a new feature.
John Miller, chief executive of Heritage Trust for the North West, the charity managing Lytham Hall, said: “Income from visitors is essential to meet the large operational costs for keeping a site of this size open to the public and our snowdrop walks are an essential part of this.
“There seems to be more and more snowdrops every year, and we’d like to thank everyone for visiting and supporting Lytham Hall.”
Marianne Blaauboer, the Hall’s activity plan officer, added: “Being car-free while the walks were on, the parkland took on a particularly tranquil feel and we are grateful to the peopel at Ribble House in Ballam Road, who offered use of their car park for visitors.
“Also, the tireless help of our strong volunteer corps was vital to the success of the walks programme and thanks to them for their efforts.
”Along with the walks being available on Saturdays, we had some other new features including a fairy trail for children and they proved very popular.”
Marianne said that with daffodils and bluebells now replacing the snowdrops around the grounds, the Hall remains open for guided tours on Sundays at noon and 2pm, while from April onwards it will also be open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
Other events in the pipeline include a clairvoyance evening with Jeannette Greenough on March 9, while the Hall’s first steam fair in September will follow established summer favourites such as the Mega Mini Meet, Flower Power, Classic Car shows and the hosting of Lytham Club Day’s afternoon events in June.
A programme of four outdoor plays is also planned for the Hall grounds from June through to August.