Spring trails to discover Westonbirt’s heritage landscape

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Visitors to Westonbirt, The National Arboretum this spring can follow two new seasonal trails from 1st March.

The trails at the Forestry Commission managed National Arboretum will offer insight into the heritage landscape and the flowering trees and
wildflowers within it.

Trail stops in the Old Arboretum will include information on the origins of many of the heritage rhododendrons, camellias and other flowering

Rhododendron ‘Ernest Gill’ & admirers in the Old Arboretum. Copyright Jane Gifford 2011.

Areas shown on a Victorian map of the Old Arboretum have recently been
opened up by the tree team to show off Westonbirt’s heritage flowers to
those on the spring trail.

Over in Silk Wood, the spring trail will display a wildflower and
grassland photography exhibition by Cotswolds photographer, Barney

The photography exhibition will aim to highlight the importance of
grassland habitat to visitors on the trail.

Westonbirt Arboretum is a Grade I registered park and garden; a
classification which includes the grassland area known as the Downs. The
Downs area plays an important role in the landscape design of the
arboretum and is thriving with native wildflowers and wildlife.

Visitors on the Silk Wood trail will be able to see images of common
spotted orchids, cuckoo flower and snake’s head fritillary; mounted with
descriptions of why they are central to grassland life.

More information on the spring trail at Westonbirt Arboretum can be
found at from 1 March; including
links to the spring colour watch blog and more details on Barney
Wilczak’s photography.

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.

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. For
more visit

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. More information at

Useful links:
* Westonbirt Arboretum’s Spring Colour Watch blog
* Westonbirt Arboretum spring information
* Barney Wilczak Photography

Source: Westonbirt Arboretum

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