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NEWS RELEASE No: 1359125 MAY 2010

Westonbirt joins with BBC Breathing Places campaign

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Westonbirt, the National Arboretum, managed by the Forestry Commission, is joining with the BBC Springwatch Breathing Places campaign for three-days of fun family activity.

On 1–3 June, Westonbirt will join Breathing Places as one of the campaign’s Wild Days Out activities. During the Around the World special event children are being admitted for free to the National Arboretum.

The Breathing Places campaign was set up in 2005 to encourage people to connect with the nature. Partner events are planned to give opportunities to get out into nature, have fun and learn about biodiversity.

Using arts, crafts and trails around the arboretum, children taking part in the Around the World days will be able to learn more about trees from other countries and find out about the creatures that live in them.

The young explorers can also discover see how many of the National Arboretum’s plants were originally collected and brought to the UK by the adventurous plant hunters of the Victorian Times.

The BBC campaign will be providing exciting resources and activity packs to go with the arts, crafts and events planned by the Westonbirt team.

The Breathing Places website will be promote all Wild Day Out events and stories and photographs from Westonbirt will feature alongside other activities taking place in the campaign.

Westonbirt’s Around the World activities will take place from 10.30-4.00pm each day. Admission for children is free, adults £8 and concessions £7.

Springwatch Wild Days Out are taking place all over the UK from Saturday 15 May to Sunday 13 June 2010. Go to for the full list.

1. Image attached shows a child discovering woodland wildlife at Westonbirt. Credit to Rob Cousins.
2. Further BBC information about Springwatch Wild Days Out: Sarah Sherwin 01442 823141/ 07836 549486
3. 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.

1. 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

2. 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.

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 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: