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Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, which is managed by the Forestry Commission, will hold a series of activities and walks this spring to explore the exciting changes taking place as the woodlands bounce back into life.
Autumn may be Westonbirt’s most famous season, but many argue that spring offers the most for visitors.
Simon Toomer, Arboretum Director, commented:
“Spring is so exciting at Westonbirt because it gives so much throughout such a long season.
“Whereas the autumn colour may last several weeks, vibrant spring colour last several months; starting with camellias in February or March and continuing until the summer months with spectacular shows of magnolias, rhododendrons and wildflowers.”
Westonbirt hopes to excite visitors with reasons to visit across the spring season.
Kicking off with a Discover Spring fortnight between 21 April-2 May, activities, guided walks, trails and a traditional Silk Wood fair will help open visitors’ eyes to spring at Westonbirt.
The Easter Challenge family activity weekend, 21-25 April, will send kids into the heart of the spring woodland to discover bursting buds and colours.
The Great Oak Hall will host an exhibition between 21-26 April, taking visitors behind the scenes with examples of how Westonbirt cares for the tree collection. Visitors can also take part in guided walks or discover Westonbirt’s stars of spring through a self–led seasonal trail.
From 30 April-2 May, Westonbirt will celebrate the heritage of its working woodlands with a traditional Silk Wood fair, hosted by West Country Coppice; a collective of professional coppicers undertaking a long term project to restore Silk Wood’s ancient woodland areas. The Silk Wood fair will demonstrate and sell handcrafted products produced from wood cut as part of the project.
Visit www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt for detailed event and activity information. Admission for adults in spring and summer is £8; £7 for concessions and £3 for children. Visitors receive half price entry to Westonbirt every Wednesday during April and May.
NOTES TO EDITOR
- 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 25,000. 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. Westonbirt’s website is www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt
- 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 at www.forestry.gov.uk
- 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 25,000 members, other fundraising, and the use of the Great Oak Hall for events and activities. More information at www.fowa.org.uk
Katrina Podlewska, Communications Manager, Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, on 01666 881 207 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org