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People and departments

Westonbirt’s staff contribute a range of skills, arboricultural expertise and operational experience to ensure the effective maintenance and running of The National Arboretum.

In addition, we provide educational activities to over 12,500 school pupils and work with adults and diverse groups. We hope to be able to extend our education programme with new facilities and opportunities created through the planned Westonbirt Project.

Arboretum Director, Andrew Smith

Andrew took up the post of Director at Westonbirt in July 2015.

Before taking up this appointment, he was responsible for Forestry Commission England’s grants and regulations systems based in Bristol and was the Forestry Commission's lead on tree health. 

Prior to that, he was District Manager at North York Moors for eight years and worked for the Forestry Commission at Aberfoyle, Thetford and Sherwood.

He has a degree in Forestry from Bangor University.


To speak to any of the staff below, call 0300 067 4890.

Tree Team
Westonbirt tree team carrying out tree surgeryWestonbirt has a dedicated Tree Team that undertakes the essential role of managing the tree collection. The team consists of a dedicated database manager who maintains our mapping system and tree records, specialist arboriculturalists and a plant propagator.

The Tree Team works with a number of partners, including the Kew Gardens and the Millennium Seed Bank, participating in collecting expeditions around the world. Many of the seeds collected are propagated on site at Westonbirt and added to the collection 

Department manager: Mark Ballard, Curator

Events and recreation

The Westonbirt Events team manages all our signature events, concerts and exhibitions onsite. Working with central Forestry Commission departments, such as the Live Music, Unique Locations concerts programme and other external partners, they deliver safe and successful events which continue to attract new and existing visitors to Westonbirt.

Responsible for admissions and the day to day services and amenities on offer to our visitors, the vital backstage work carried out by the Visitor Service team makes sure all our facilities are clean and functional. The team also assists visitors with the use and hire of onsite mobility scooters.

Department Manager: Simon Hough, Recreation Manager

Education and Interpretation

Our Education team provides onsite activities to 12,500 school pupils each year and our teachers and support officers work with many others through our outreach programme.

The team is responsible for making sure all our visitors receive the information they need to and learn about our collection. Creating children’s trails right through to seasonal walks around the arboretum; the effective interpretation of the site is vital for communicating the importance of trees and woodlands for conservation, health and wellbeing and in adapting to climate change.

Department manager: Ben Oliver, Learning and Participation Manager

Marketing and Communications

Planning what we want to say and how we want to say it, this department contains the press office, manages the website updates and produces the leaflets and marketing material to communicate our events and national collection to the public.

Department manager: Emily Pryor, Communications Manager

Finance and Administration

Responsible for all departmental budgets and administration, the team maintains all the required statutory accounting records and provides management accounts and financial information to the Forestry Commission.

Department manager: Lucie King, Office Manager  

Last updated: 10th July 2017

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.