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NEWS RELEASE No: 1347231 MARCH 2010

Plant Centre offer for visitors to the National Arboretum

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Plant centre at Westonbirt

From 1 April through to 31 September there’s an extra reason to visit Westonbirt- the National Arboretum with a 1 voucher for the Plant Centre or Forest Shop free with all admissions. The retail voucher is valid up until the end of September when you spend over 10.

This spring, the Plant Centre will stock Westonbirt produced garden products including beanpoles, peasticks and climbing frames cut from Silk Wood. Spring flowers and young plants will also help to give your garden a quick lift of colour.

For those with ambitions of starting your own mini arboretum, the famous ‘Westonbirt Red’, ‘Westonbirt Orange’ and ‘Spreading Star’ maples varieties are available to buy as part of the Westonbirt Heritage Collection, along with a range of unusual trees, shrubs and perennials.

Westonbirt Arboretum, managed by the Forestry Commission, is known around the world for its national collection of Japanese maples, famous for their stunning autumn colour.

Luke Harding, customer advisor at the Plant Centre, provides tips for the Westonbirt e-newsletter. He offered his advice for gardeners this season:

“Use this time to prepare for the warmer months, which as we know can come upon us pretty fast at times. “Feed your lawn and remember to keep on top of your weeding. That way once the warm weather starts you won’t be surprised by what you find. Prune shrubs once they have finished flowering and remember to keep an eye on the ventilation of your green houses – you don’t want an early warm spell to dry out your young plants.”

Visit on a Wednesday in April and May and take advantage of half price admissions. Adults pay 4, concessions, 3.50 and children just 1.50. To sign up to receive the Westonbirt e-newsletter, visit

Image attached: A Westonbirt Red Maple from the Westonbirt Heritage Collection. Credit to FC Picture Library.

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 23,000. 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.

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. Further information can be found at

3. Westonbirt – the National Arboretum is part of the Westonbirt Heritage Partnership, which consists of the Forestry Commission, Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum, Westonbirt School and the Holfords of Westonbirt Trust. The Partnership plans to reconnect the historic Westonbirt estate, conserve its unique heritage and inspire future visitors through the Westonbirt Project, supported by The Heritage Lottery Fund.

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 23,000 members, other fundraising, and the use of the Great Oak Hall for events and activities.

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