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Calling all adventurers! Westonbirt Arboretum is inviting visitors to take part in a new digital quest around the internationally renowned site, which will help them to get closer to the tree collection in a different way with information at their fingertips.
The team at the Forestry Commission’s National Arboretum hope to encourage families and teenagers to explore the fantastic tree collection digitally through the launch of their new app, TreeQuests, which is activated by 50 trigger beacons that have been fitted to some of the arboretum’s 15,000 trees and connect to the app.
Launching during w/c 3 August, the free app enables adventurers to create their own quest through the Old Arboretum, dog friendly Silk Wood or for really committed explorers, the whole arboretum, offering a number of interactive challenges along the route.
Users can discover more about the fascinating world of trees at Westonbirt by customising their own adventures and following the clues, allowing them to explore the arboretum on or off paths – making the app accessible for everyone.
Once visitors have solved the clues and found the next tree on the trail, the trigger beacons will send out an alert and award a virtual silver medal. To win a gold medal, adventurers must complete a challenge, such as building a bushcraft tower, working out the age of trees and competing in photo challenges.
After completing the quest the app will create a virtual arboretum, where users will be rewarded with a wealth of knowledge about the trees they’ve tracked down.
Ben Oliver, Learning and Participation Manager at the National Arboretum, said:
“We’re really excited to launch TreeQuests, and looking forward to seeing adventurers scouring the arboretum to find the trail trees and win their virtual medals. It’s a great way to use technology creatively to encourage families and young adults to discover our trees in a fun and interactive way. We hope they will take away a new fact or two from their visit and find new trees around our collection. If you’re up for the challenge, then join us at Westonbirt and download our new app!”
TreeQuests will work on both iOS and Android devices, and operates without wifi once the app is downloaded onto a phone. Users simply turn on Bluetooth to start their app adventure.
Download TreeQuests for free from the App Store, Google Play and the Welcome Building at Westonbirt. To find out more, please visit www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt-app.
For more information please contact:
Emily Pryor, Westonbirt Arboretum, on 01666 881207 or e-mail Emily.email@example.com
Pippa Hanson, Camargue, on 01242 577277 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
The National Arboretum is situated at Westonbirt, three miles from Tetbury in Gloucestershire.
The National Arboretum is open from 9am Monday to Sunday all year round except Christmas Day.
Information on admission and events can be found at forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt.
1. Westonbirt, The National Arboretum is managed by the Forestry Commission and is renowned worldwide for its tree and shrub collection. Home to five national collections, the arboretum covers 243 hectares (600 acres) and contains nearly 15,000 labelled specimens. Visitor numbers are 350,000 a year, with a membership of over 27,000. 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 for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Further information can be found at www.forestry.gov.uk.
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. The Westonbirt Project will make a big difference to everybody who comes to the arboretum. The project will mean a better welcome, a better visit and a better understanding of the heritage and importance of this world class tree collection. More information can be found at www.westonbirtproject.co.uk.