With spring just around the corner, our woodlands and forests are
gradually waking up - so it's the perfect time to get out and about and
join Forestry Commission England in celebrating English Tourism Week (10
- 18 March). You can take part by delving into nature's fascinating
history and making the most of all that your local forest has to offer
throughout the week.
Forestry Commission England offers access to the country's vast public
forest estate and, with around 40 million visits a year, it's a hugely
popular way to discover England's natural past.
Broad Drive in Silk Wood, Westonbirt Arboretum. Jane Gifford 2011.
With so much to see and do across the country, where should you start?
Why not take a visit to Westonbirt, The National Arboretum in
Follow the Native Tree Trail in Westonbirt's Silk Wood to discover the
fascinating story of Britain's native trees. Britain has around 40
native trees, a relatively small number compared to some other
countries. The trail explores the history of this small but fascinating
group using informative panels and sculpture - from the early colonisers
of frozen tundra and the wildwoods that once covered much of Britain, to
the first clearances and introductions by people.
With the forest estate dating back thousands of years, Forestry
Commission England works hard to ensure it is protected and sustained
for visitors and future generations to treasure and enjoy.
Pam Warhurst, Forestry Commission Chair, explains: "English Tourism Week
creates the perfect opportunity to explore your local forest and start
unravelling the plentiful history nestled in England's woods and
forests. From cycling and wildlife spotting to horse riding and nature
trails, there are so many ways you can join Forestry Commission England
in marking a week that helps celebrate all that the great outdoors has
Westonbirt, The National Arboretum is managed by the Forestry
Commission and is renowned worldwide for its tree and shrub collection.
Home to the National Japanese Maple Collection, the arboretum covers 243
hectares (600 acres) and contains 16,000 specimens. Visitor numbers are
over 350,000 a year, with a membership of over 28,000. 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
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 www.forestry.gov.uk/england
Useful links: www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt
Source: Westonbirt Arboretum