Snowdrop Walk to help North Kesteven families come to terms with loss

Rosie Bristow (third from left), who organised the Snowdrop Walk at Whisby Nature Park, near Sleaford.
Rosie Bristow (third from left), who organised the Snowdrop Walk at Whisby Nature Park, near Sleaford.

A mother who suffered a heartbreaking loss when her daughter was stillborn is helping others affected by bereavement with a place of remembrance near Sleaford.

More than 100 people got together to plant 5,000 snowdrop bulbs in Whisby Nature Park, a short drive from Sleaford, to remember those they have lost. They will be able to return to the park for moments of quiet reflection and to see the snowdrops flourish.

After moving to RAF Cranwell in 2014, Rosie Bristow (33) came up with the idea to create a Snowdrop Walk, pioneered by the charity Child Bereavement UK.

In a community–led initiative, and working in partnership with the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, North Kesteven District Council’s Community Initiatives Team supported the creation of the walk. Bulbs were kindly donated by Lubbe & Sons Ltd and artist Simon Bogg from Xtreme Chainsaws carved a metre high wooden snowdrop to mark the area.

Rosie said: “On the day of the walk, we were faced with rain and sleet, but this did not keep people away.

“We had families come from all over. It was a very moving day, talking to people about their personal experiences and what it meant to them. The overwhelming message was that it was the perfect way for them to remember who they had lost and they would most definitely come back next year and probably several times in-between to have a quiet moment of thought in this special area that has been created.”

A total of £596.98 was raised for Child Bereavement UK through donations. While some people who attended had lost children, others had lost grandchildren and grandparents.

North Kesteven District Councillor Sarah Pearse, who helped Rosie bring the plan to fruition, said: “It was wonderful to see so many people come together in support, and share their experiences with each other.”

The event is set to continue year on year. For more information visit www.facebook.com/SnowdropWalk

Rosie Bristow, who lives at RAF Cranwell with husband Ross and children Humphrey (2) and Archie (5), said: “In 2013 our daughter Darcey Erin was stillborn at 37.5 weeks and we had to go home with empty arms to our two-year-old son Archie without the baby we had all so wished for.

“What helped us most was talking to each other, being outside doing positive things together.

“After moving to Cranwell and while being pregnant with Humphrey it was a terrible pregnancy because I was worried about what could happen.

“There was no medical reason as to what happened with Darcey and up until the nine months there was no indication that anything was wrong.

“The Snowdrop Walk is vital for families and individuals to have time to remember, to feel support from their community and most importantly do something positive outdoors, that year on year will become more beautiful as the snowdrops multiply.”

Snowdrop planting and walks are a key feature within Child Bereavement UK’s programme of supporting bereaved families. The charity supports families and educates professionals when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement.