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With just over a week to go, the full programme for Westonbirt’s signature summer event, Treefest, has been announced and features a host of new and exciting activities to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
The event, which attracts around 20,000 visitors each year, will take place across the August Bank Holiday weekend, 23 – 25 August, and will once again provide a great day out for families.
A new addition to this year’s event will be den building, where children can learn why we need shelters, what materials to use and will get the chance to build their own dens in trees. Children can also enjoy craft activities with the learning team and family fun with Love Food Festival, making woodland creatures, bird masks and much more!
To celebrate Treefest’s 20th birthday, there will be a special birthday parade on Bank Holiday Monday at 3.15pm, featuring tree flags, puppets and woodland crowns, all hand-made over the weekend. Tractors, brass bands and a steam engine will lead the parade to commemorate the event’s history.
In 2011, Treefest introduced a food area to offer visitors tasty delights and this year the team has joined forces with Love Food Festival to expand the offer and showcase treats from 30 local producers, from traditional British foods to delicious vegetarian delicacies.
New and diverse catering outlets will include vegetarian world cuisine by Café Chameleon, strawberries and cream teas from The Strawberry Chariot, local organic burgers, sausages and bacon from Peradon Farm, Stroud Brewery and Winstones Ice Cream.
Archery also returns to Treefest this year and children can have a go at hitting the bullseye! Tree climbing and the zip wire make a welcome return, and visitors will be able to see more big carving that will focus on creating benches inspired by wildlife. The newly named Westonbirt at Work exhibitor’s area will this year illustrate the journey of wood to visitors through guided walks around the area.
This year’s Treefest will see 120 exhibitors showcasing their wares over the 3 day weekend, with plenty on offer. The main arena will see displays by the Black Mountains Falconry team and performances by the Welsh Axemen giving skilled chainsaw demonstrations and using a two man cross saw.
Live music will delight the crowds across the weekend concluding with headline act Smith & Jones, famous for their participation in The Voice UK. Other music acts include M.O.D Folks, swing band The Hop Tin Roofs, singer songwriter Louise Latham, who will debut her first album, and the Cadbury Sisters amongst others.
Simon Hough, the Forestry Commission’s recreation manager at Westonbirt Arboretum, said:
“We are really excited that this, our 20th annual Treefest, will be adding even more activities, displays and good quality music for our visitors to enjoy.
“It is the perfect opportunity to connect people with trees and a great way for families to introduce their little ones to the natural world, and that’s why family activities and good quality entertainment play a role in the festival.”
Adult tickets are £15 per person, concessions at £12 and children 18 and under go free. Members of the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum receive a 50 per cent discount with adult tickets priced at £7.50 per person and concessions at £6.
The full programme and further information is available from www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt-treefest.