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World class garden photography on show at Westonbirt

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colourful photo for westonbirt exhibition

A unique display of tree photography will come to Westonbirt - the National Arboretum, which is managed by the Forestry Commission, for the first time this April and May.

In a collection compiled especially for Westonbirt, the International Garden Photographer of the Year exhibition will feature all tree category finalists from the last two years of the prestigious competition.

Simon Hough, events manager at Westonbirt commented:

"The important work undertaken by Westonbirt and the Forestry Commission to protect our forests and fight climate change has been recognised with this unique collection of images.

"This is the first time these pictures have been brought together for display and the National Arboretum is an ideal setting. Westonbirt is an internationally significant location for photography, with pictures taken here being used the world over."

The first exhibition took place at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in May 2008 and quickly established itself as the world's premier garden and plant photography event. Kew will again host the winners and finalists from the third competition this year.

Philip Smith, promoter for International Garden Photographer of the Year

"Both aspiring and expert photographers are encouraged to enter this year's competition. Every entrant will benefit just from taking part, as they will have access to a series of workshops and talks and critiques."

The fourth International Garden Photographer of the Year competition is now open. For more details on how to enter please go to 

The deadline for entries is the 30th November 2010.

The collection at Westonbirt will be on display on the historic Downs area of the Arboretum. No additional charge will be made for entry to the exhibition after admission.

For further information visit

* Image available: 'Lone Fall Tree' image to be credited to 2009 competition winner, Dennis Frates. Please contact for further images.

* Westonbirt - The National Arboretum is managed by the Forestry Commission and renowned worldwide for its tree and shrub collection. It contains nearly 16,000 specimens, including almost half of the woody plants known to grow in the world's temperate climate zone. It covers 600 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds. Its importance is recognised by English Heritage's Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historical Interest as a Grade 1 registered Landscape. Visitor numbers are 360,000 a year, with a membership of over 23,000.

* Westonbirt Arboretum was established in the 1850s by wealthy landowner Robert Holford, and later developed by his son George Holford. Much of Westonbirt's renowned autumn colour is credited to Sir George's plantings of Japanese maples between 1875 and 1900, many of which are still alive today. Unlike many arboreta, Westonbirt is laid out according to aesthetic appeal rather than scientific or geographical criteria, and the Holfords' legacy is open for all to enjoy - a beautiful, relaxing and unique day out among some of the tallest, oldest and rarest trees and shrubs in Britain.

* Westonbirt is home to the National Japanese Maple (Acer) Collection, with over 350 different types in the collection. The Forestry Commission opened Westonbirt Arboretum to the public in 1961, and in 1966 a new Acer Glade was established alongside the original one planted by Robert and George Holford in 1875.

* 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. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands.

Further information can be found at

For further information, please contact:
Westonbirt - the National Arboretum: Katrina Podlewska, Communications Manager, 01666 881 207 or

International Garden Photographer of the Year Competition:
Mary Denton, Press Officer, 01295 712288 or