Heralds of Spring – Celebrating our local daffodils

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 Discovering the Daffodils of the Tamar Valley – 2020

The wonderful heritage daffodils of the Tamar Valley AONB will be basking in the limelight this year after an article in Country Living Magazine and having their very own poster displayed across the GWR network. Drawn to the Valley have made them the theme of their Spring exhibition too bringing a splash of gold to the Tamar Valley Centre.


To start our 25th anniversary this year we are launching our celebrations with a focus on this very important horticultural collection in our beautiful landscape. There are a number of events showcasing the daffodils across the Tamar Valley this Spring.

Daffodil Walk – Bere Alston

Thursday 12 March, 10.50am

Join local historian and walk leader, Clive Charlton, on a 5-mile walk around Bere Alston exploring sites of mining and historical interest as well as opportunities for daffodil spotting.

Parts of the walk will be on lanes, but it will also include off-road sections (some steep and muddy!), so please dress accordingly. Well behaved dogs on leads only please. Please bring a drink and lunch.
Meet: Bere Alston station
Booking: 01822 835030, enquiries@tamarvalley.org.uk

Cotehele Daffodil Festival

Saturday 14 – Sunday 22 March, 10am – 4pm

Come and see the wonderful collection of daffodils grown on Cotehele Estate. Over the week there will be a range of activities including displays of historic and new varieties of daffodils, guided daffodil tour in the garden on selected days and daffodil sculptures too. Children’s activities will run on the three weekends. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cotehele

Venue: National Trust Cotehele, nr St Dominick

Travel by train to Calstock station, then walk up through the woods to Cotehele House. It’s a beautiful 1.5 mile walk with stunning river views.

Bere Ferrers Spring Flower Show

Saturday 28 March, 1pm – 4.30pm

Don’t miss this annual showcase of Tamar Valley daffodils and spring flowers. Also, Art & Craft Fair, including paintings, glass blowing, lacemaking, jewellery, pottery, wooden items and more. Bar, light lunches and refreshments. Small admission charge to Flower Show.

Venues: Bere Ferrers Church Hall and Bere Ferrers Social Club.

Travel by train to Bere Ferrers station, then it’s a 5 minute walk to the show.

‘Drawn to the Valley’ Spring Exhibition – Heralds of Spring

28 March – 5 April, 10am – 4pm (to 2pm Sunday)

Local art group, Drawn to the Valley, exhibit work featuring the Heralds of Spring project, as seen in Country Living magazine, March 2020. https://drawntothevalley.co.uk

Venue: Tamar Valley Centre, Drakewalls, PL18 9FE.

Travel by train to Gunnislake station, the Tamar Valley Centre is a 5 minute walk away.

Daffodil Surveying – Spring 2020

We are delighted that Tamar TLC have agreed to support the project for a further year and that Tamar Grow Local will again be delivering the project for us. Surveyors will be out and about during the spring, so if you see anyone measuring and photographing daffodils, please stop and say hello.

Download your events leaflet here


Great News for 2019! 

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The Heralds of Spring project has been extended for another season.

Heralds of Spring was initially funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund Sharing Heritage programme and the Tamar Valley AONB, and delivered by Tamar Grow Local. We are delighted that Tamar TLC has agreed to support the project from this point on and enable further training and surveys to take place this year.

Look out for news about events and opportunities to get involved in recording and celebrating the wonderful daffodil heritage of the Tamar Valley.

TVAONB (Facebook/Twitter)

Or sign up to receive free monthly bulletins from the Tamar Valley AONB – cdancer@tamarvalley.org.uk


On the verge – Historic daffodils on Tamar Valley hedgebanks (credit – Jean Croft)

How Heralds of Spring began… 

During the spring, Tamar Valley hedgebanks and woodlands explode into a riot of colour, as daffodils bloom, making a striking impact on the landscape. These are very special daffodils, representing the strong heritage and cultural legacy of the market gardening industry, one of the key factors determining the Tamar Valley’s sense of place and the heritage of communities within this nationally protected landscape.

Heralds of Spring is a groundbreaking Heritage Lottery funded ‘collection in the landscape’ project.  During Spring 2017 we recorded and increased awareness of the important populations of historic daffodil varieties in the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, particularly those on the Bere Peninsula.

The Heralds of Spring project aims to:

  • Celebrate the importance of our historic daffodil collection
  • Record the varieties in the landscape and to identify key areas with very special collections
  • Capture local people’s memories about our beautiful daffodils
  • Use this information to help safeguard the daffodils for future generations to enjoy

Our work so far…

Thanks to the great work of many volunteers, much has been achieved already;

BAwalk             BFwalk            BA2BF

There is still more to come with:

  • another season of daffodil surveys

Check this page regularly for updates, results from the surveys, plus details of the 2018 surveying season. Alternatively, sign up to receive free monthly ebulletins (right hand side of our home page).

Heralds of Spring was initially funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund – Sharing Heritage programme and the Tamar Valley AONB, and is supported by a steering group of local organisations, community groups and individuals.

Thank you all for joining us at the Heralds of Spring Daffodil Conference on Thursday 5th October 2017 at the Tamar Valley Centre.

Just a few of the photos from this special day…

Ron Scamp, Cornish Daffodil Grower & Breeder

Ron Scamp, Cornish Daffodil Grower & Breeder


Many thanks to Holly’s Cupcakes & Cakes, Harrowbarrow


planting bulbs in the grounds of the Tamar Valley Centre

planting bulbs in the grounds of the Tamar Valley Centre

Gwynne Davies

Gwynne Davies, member of RHS Daffodil Committee


Top 10 daffodil varieties recorded during the 2017 survey

Find out more about what we have found so far:

  • Heralds of Spring evaluation for 2017 season
  • Heralds of Spring evaluation for 2018 season
  • Detailed results of the surveys are available by request

We are still analysing the 2019 season’s results and will post the evaluation report when it is available.

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The exquisitely beautiful Tamar Double White (credit – Tamar Valley AONB)