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NEWS RELEASE No: 1462619 MAY 2011

Westonbirt celebrates forests with free entry for kids

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Children at Westonbirt

This summer, Westonbirt, The National Arboretum is helping families to celebrate the United Nations’ International Year of Forests with free admission for kids and a host of activities exploring the hidden life of forests.

Westonbirt Arboretum, managed by the Forestry Commission, is offering free admission for children from 23 July–31 August.

Families can take part in a programme of exciting activities throughout August, finishing with the ultimate celebration of trees at Westonbirt’s new summer Bank Holiday event, Treefest.

Uncover wildlife from mini-beasts and mud to fungi and roots at Life Beneath our Feet, 2-4 August. Look closely with microscopes, add to our large soil artwork and create crafty creatures to take away.

Discover the giants of the forest with Tree Architecture, 9-11 August. Look inside a tree to tell the story of its life, explore the tree's transport network with microscopes and help create a giant trunk from clay bark tiles.

Become a green detective at Growing Green, 16-18 August. Find out why our forests are green and the importance of the colour for all forest wildlife. Make giant leaves from willow and tissue paper and create leaf art to take home.

Leading up to and part of Treefest, 26–29 August, explore trees from around the world with Forests for the Future, 24-29 August. Take part in a forest quiz, connect your thoughts to the 'tree for the future' and take part in a different craft activity each day.

Find out more about summer activities at and

Visit to find out more about the UN International Year of Forests.

Westonbirt Arboretum is three miles south west of Tetbury on the A433. It is 10 miles north-east of junction 18 of the M4 and south-east of junction 13 of the M5.


  1. Westonbirt, The National Arboretum is part of the Forestry Commission estate and is renowned worldwide for its tree and shrub collection. Home to the National Japanese Maple (Acer) collection, the National Arboretum covers 243 hectares (600 acres) and contains 16,000 specimens. Visitor numbers are 350,000 a year, with a membership of 27,000. Westonbirt Arboretum was established in the 1850s by wealthy landowner Robert Holford, and later developed by his son George Holford.  Unlike many arboreta, Westonbirt is laid out according to aesthetic appeal rather than scientific or geographical criteria. Westonbirt’s website is

  2. Forestry Commission England 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. For more visit

  3. Forestry Commission England supports the 2011 UN International Year of Forests – find out more at

  4. 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 27,000 members, other fundraising, and the use of the Great Oak Hall for events and activities. More information at  


Katrina Podlewska, Communications Manager, Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, on 01666 881 207 or email: