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NEWS RELEASE No: 1543015 MAY 2012


Westonbirt Arboretum offers free summer fun for families


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The Forestry Commission’s National Arboretum at Westonbirt is coming to the rescue of parents and grandparents this summer holiday, with free entry for kids and a host of free activities and trails.

Kids go free at the arboretum from 20 July to 31 August and Westonbirt’s learning team have tree-discovering activities planned to keep kids entertained and get them excited about being outdoors.

Young (and old) visitors can also enjoy the new areas of Westonbirt’s play trail in Silk Wood. Clamber over giant tree roots or balance your way along the length of the tallest tree in the arboretum. Pick up a free play trail map from the Great Oak Hall information point between 10am - 4pm.

To help plan your summer, here’s what’s coming up:

High fibres
Tuesday 31 July - Thursday 2 August
10:30am - 4:30pm
Crafts and a trail to discover plants that provide us with the fibres that help us make our world.

Summer Secrets
Tuesday 7 - Thursday 9 August
10:30am - 4:30pm
Join us as we delve deep in the undergrowth to find the hidden secrets of summer: leaves that communicate, deadly poisons and a rubbery wonder await! Create secret summer pictures and design your own pipe cleaner woodland bugs.

Arboretum art attack!
Tuesday 14 - Thursday 16 August
10:30am - 4:30pm
Calling all artists! Explore the artistic origins of Westonbirt and discover how we use trees instead of paint. Build your own stick frame, create natural art to add to our photo gallery and design a picturesque tree garden.

Young Plant Hunters' academy
Wednesday 22 - Monday 27 August
10:30am - 4:30pm
Take a trip around the world as an intrepid plant hunter. Discover death defying stories, solve our mystery tree quiz and find out why we continue to go on plant hunts today. There will be different craft activities and explorer challenges each day. This activity forms part of Treefest (25 - 27 August).

Treefest
Saturday 25 – Monday 27 August
10am – 5pm
Alongside activities in the Young Plant Hunters’ Academy, families can enjoy storytelling, falconry and crafts at Treefest. Find out more at www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt-treefest.

Find out more about Westonbirt Arboretum at www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt.

Notes to editors

  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  

MEDIA CONTACT

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