Species Information

This page will contain photos and information on all the New Species.

If we run out of new species we will use this page to display information on some of the species found in the Dene.

Total Number of Recorded Species in the Brierdene  31/01/2019

 Groups  Number
  Bats    3
  Bugs & Beatles    51
    Bumblebees - Bees - Solitary Bees    15
Butterflies    21
   Centipedes    1
Crustaceans    5
   Dragonflies    6
Fish and Amphibians    5
  Flies    51
  Fungi    39
Harvestman    2
  Ladybirds    8
Mammals    10
  Molluscs    9
Lichen, Liverworts Mosses and Slime
  Moths & Miners   165
  Plants, Bushes & Trees    323
  Reptiles     1
  Wasps    9
 Worms    11


10 Facts about Snowdrops

1.      Snowdrop’s scientific name is Gallanthus. This means ‘milk flower.’ The common snowdrop we normally see with one flower per stem is a Galanthus nivaliswhich translates as ‘milk flower of the snow.’


2.     Snowdrops were named after earrings not drops of snow. In the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries women often wore dangly, white drop-shaped earrings known as ‘eardrops.’ Some other common names of snowdrops are: Fair Maids of February, Candlemas Bells, White Ladies, Little Sister of the Snows, Snow Piercers, Dingle-dangle, Flower of Hope and Death’s Flower.


3.     Snowdrop’s contain a natural anti-freeze. Even if they collapse in freezing weather they recover once the temperature rises.


4.    When temperatures reach 10C (50F) and above, the outer petals open up revealing the nectar inside. When the temperature drops the petal shield closes and protects the nectar. Nature is rather magical as this is perfect for bumble bees which come out of hibernation when the temperature rises above 10C! Snowdrop pollen and nectar is an early spring feast for many bees. The green stripes inside the snowdrops are like landing lights guiding them to one of the only restaurants open this early in the season.


5.     Snowdrops and their bulbs are poisonous to humans. Some people have mistaken their bulbs for onions or shallots but they would have to eat an awfully lot of them to be fatal.


6.    Snowdrops are used in medicine to help people. Galamantine extracted from snowdrops is now used in a treatment to slow down dementia in Alzheimer’s disease.


7.     Although there are gardens and woodlands where we can see thousands and thousands of snowdrops, they are endangered and even under threat of extinction in some countries where they naturally grow in the wild. This is because too many were dug up to sell to gardeners across the world. Since 1995 international trade has been banned unless you have a special license.


8.    There are lots of legends and myths about snowdrops. One of them was the belief that you should never bring in a single or first snowdrop into the home as it was unlucky or even meant there would be a death soon. That’s why it’s known sometimes as the ‘death-flower’ and the flower is described as a ‘corpse in a shroud.’

9.    Galanthomania! People who are crazy about snowdrops and/or collect them are known as ‘Galanthophiles.’ Special new ‘mutant’ varieties are sold for huge sums of money. One bulb called Gallanthus plicatus ‘Golden Fleece’ was sold for £1,390 pounds sterling. Some of these collectable bulbs are so precious they are kept locked up or watched over by security guards. As a result of this Galanthomania –  snowdrop craze – there are snowdrop galas and special events held worldwide attended by Galanthophiles.


10. There are actually many legends and myths about snowdrops which are native across large parts of Europe extending out to the Ukraine, western Turkey and even parts of the Middle East. They are not native to the UK although they were introduced before 1600