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12 APRIL 2012 NEWS RELEASE No: 15408

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Celebrate trees on a grand scale at Westonbirt's Treefest

Family activities to discover the intrepid world of plant hunting, expert carvers creating big play trail pieces and over 100 exhibitors join this year’s Treefest at Westonbirt, The National Arboretum.

Kids go Free at the event, which takes place from Saturday 25 to Monday 27 August at the Forestry Commission managed arboretum in Gloucestershire.

Visitors can watch as carvers take inspiration from fairytales and nature to create large wooden sculptures that will become part of the new play trail in Silk Wood. Wood for the sculptures is sourced as part of the routine management of Westonbirt Arboretum’s tree collection

Simon Hough, the Forestry Commission’s Recreation Manager at Westonbirt Arboretum commented:

“Over 20,000 visitors came to our new-look Treefest last year and we had some great feedback about the event – particularly around the family activities, live music and exhibitors.

“We know many visitors want to see big carving, so this year Treefest will have three expert carvers creating pieces to stay onsite after the event. We hope visitors will enjoy watching these sculptures take shape across the weekend.”

Local live music, traditional woodland skills, local food producers and live cookery demonstrations from local celebrity chefs will also entertain visitors.

Rob Rees MBE, ‘The Cotswold Chef’ and Charlotte Pike from Go Free Foods will use local, fresh ingredients to create delicious dishes in the Treefest Foodhall.

Visitors can save money with advance weekend and daily tickets, available from www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt-treefest.

Advance weekend tickets are £30 for adults and £26 for concessions. Advance daily admission is £10 for adults, £8 for concessions and Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum and kids go free throughout the event.

Visitors to Treefest will again have the chance to camp at the event. This year, visitors can upgrade to a tipi or yurt for their weekend. Details on how to book can be found on Westonbirt Arboretum’s website.

The festival will run from Saturday 25 to Monday 27 August, with the daily programme from 10am to 5pm and live music taking place into the evening. More details are available from www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt-treefest.

Notes to editor

  1. Westonbirt, The National Arboretum is managed by the Forestry Commission and is renowned worldwide for its tree and shrub collection. Home to the National Japanese Maple Collection, the arboretum covers 243 hectares (600 acres) and contains 16,000 specimens. Visitor numbers are over 350,000 a year, with a membership of over 28,000. Westonbirt Arboretum was established in the 1850s by wealthy landowner Robert Holford, and later developed by his son George Holford.  Unlike many arboretums, Westonbirt is laid out according to aesthetic appeal rather than scientific or geographical criteria. Visit www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt.

  2. The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment.  Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands.  Further information can be found at www.forestry.gov.uk/england

  3. The Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum was formed in 1985. The charity’s objects are to support the National Arboretum in promoting public understanding of the crucial role of trees to the environment and society. It is funded by membership receipts from over 28,000 members, other fundraising, and the use of the Great Oak Hall for events and activities. The Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum is a registered charity no. 293190. More information at www.fowa.org.uk  

  4. Useful links:www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt-treefest

Media contact
Katrina Podlewska, Communications Manager, Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, on 01666 881 207 or email: katrina.podlewska@forestry.gsi.gov.uk