Snowdrops in February, then a riot of buttercups, pink campion and foxgloves, the Califat Spinney has some great flowers. The trees and shrubs provide spring blossom, then some fabulous colours in autumn. Not bad for a former coal mine!
In 1911 Charlie Hyde was the Wyggeston Hospital Labourer who lived in one of the former miners’ cottages in the Califat Spinney. He planted the Spinney with silver birch whips which was great as more than a century of decomposing leaves has helped improve the soil of the former coal mining site.
Silver birch trees usually last about 60-70 years, so by the time Swannington Heritage Trust bought the spinney in 1993 they were well past their prime. The remaining trees were felled before they toppled over of their own accord. Between 2000 and 2007 the spinney was planted in three tranches – mixed woodland, oak and beech, an arboretum with lots of specialist trees.