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The blaze of fiery colours provide a spectacular show each year and the team at the Forestry Commission’s National Arboretum at Westonbirt are celebrating the beginning of the famous autumn displays by releasing their favourite ways to best enjoy the season.
Staff are encouraging Westonbirt visitors to make the most of autumn by enjoying a list of ten seasonal experiences as they admire the explosion of red, orange and yellow hues throughout the 600 acre site near Tetbury in Gloucestershire.
From conker challenges to tasty picnics, collecting colourful leaves and taking beautiful memory photos, autumn provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy nature at its best, and spend time outdoors in the fresh air with family and friends.
Simon Hough, Recreation Manager, at the National Arboretum, said:
“Westonbirt is a stunning place to visit all year round, but for the staff here autumn really is the most exciting season. As thousands of trees start turning, it soon transforms Westonbirt into a kaleidoscope of colour, which is truly magical. This is why we wanted to share our favourite ways to enjoy and experience autumn at Westonbirt, as there’s so much more to see! We’ll be hosting a variety of exciting events as the days get colder during the next few months, which the whole family can enjoy and make some fantastic memories. So grab your woolly jumpers and wellies, and enjoy the show!”
The Westonbirt team’s ten favourite ways to enjoy autumn at the arboretum are:
• Wrap up warm – Prepare for crisp autumn days and nights by pulling on your favourite woolly jumper, knitted hat and gloves; perfect for a walk through the trees!
• The race is on – Download our free TreeQuests app to take part in our exciting digital quest around Westonbirt at autumn. Challenge friends and family to run from tree to tree, and complete a number of interactive challenges to win as many gold medals as possible.
• Capture the spirit of Westonbirt – Why not take part in one of our popular one-day photography workshops? Develop your technique and snap away to capture the best of autumn at Westonbirt on camera.
• Become a leaf collector – Collect as many different fallen leaves as you can and try to find one in every colour. Don’t forget to sniff out the Katsura tree too, which smells like candyfloss!
• Get closer to nature – Immerse yourself in autumn by making a chair in the heart of Silk Wood. Take in the seasonal colours while trying your hand at a new skill during our six-day course and revive some of the oldest traditions of English chair making.
• Practice your survival skills – Autumn is the perfect time of year for young adventurers to try their hand at den building, survival skills and enjoy twilight walks. Don’t miss our popular bushcraft and survival youth club and book a place for your teens (14-18 years).
• Pack a picnic – Why not sit back and relax with an autumnal picnic? Take in the dazzling display of colour at Westonbirt with a warm thermos and some tasty treats in the heart of the arboretum.
• Hold autumn in your hands –Get off the beaten track and take your family on an adventure. See, feel and smell autumn on our family trail by comparing the different colours, shapes and textures of autumn leaves.
• Challenge with conkers! – Take on mum and dad or challenge your friends to a competition! Find several specimens just outside our Great Oak Hall and let battle commence!
• Get cosy after a long walk – Indulge in a steaming mug of hot chocolate in our cafe or tuck into a delicious bowl of locally made soup to warm up after hours of exploring the arboretum.
To find out more, visit www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt-autumn where an up-to-date gallery of images, shared via Westonbirt’s Facebook Page, will highlight the spectacular autumn colours as they develop. For more information on other events, please visit www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt-events.
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.