Explore camellias, magnolias and rhododendrons at the Forestry
Commission’s National Arboretum at Westonbirt this Mothers’ Day (Sunday
10 March 2013) and discover the joys of early spring.
Westonbirt Arboretum is home to nearly 100 magnolias of different
varieties, showcasing their dinner-plate sized pink, white and cream
blooms from March onwards.
A must-see is the Goddess magnolia, Magnolia sprengeri ‘Diva’ on
Circular Drive in the Old Arboretum; a champion tree and therefore the
largest of its kind in the British Isles.
The Goddess magnolia, Magnolia sprengeri ‘Diva’ on Circular Drive in the Old Arboretum. Credit Forestry Commission/ Gina Mills.
The Old Arboretum is also the place to see camellias and early flowering
rhododendrons, whilst wood anemones are wonderful in Silk Wood.
Families can follow the new spring trail or explore the play trail. Pick
up free trail maps from the Great Oak Hall information point between
For those looking for light refreshments and warming drinks after their
Mothers’ Day walk, Westonbirt has a temporary catering offer onsite
whilst the restaurant undergoes a full refit. The temporary outlet will
serve teas, coffees, sandwiches and light refreshments. If you would
like to treat Mum to a sit-down meal offsite and return for the
afternoon, please keep your admissions ticket or Friends membership
cards to show the admissions team when you re-enter the arboretum.
To find out more about spring at Westonbirt Arboretum, visit
Image attached: the Goddess magnolia, Magnolia sprengeri ‘Diva’ on
Circular Drive in the Old Arboretum. Credit Forestry Commission/ Gina
1. Westonbirt, The National Arboretum is managed by the Forestry
Commission and is renowned worldwide for its tree and shrub collection.
Home to five national collections, the arboretum covers 243 hectares
(600 acres) and contains 16,000 labelled specimens. Visitor numbers are
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
2. The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible
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 www.forestry.gov.uk.
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 over 28,000 members,
other fundraising, and the use of the Great Oak Hall for events and
activities. The Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum is a registered charity
(no. 293190). More information at www.fowa.org.uk
4. The Westonbirt Project will make a big difference to everybody
who comes to the arboretum. The project will mean a better welcome, a
better visit and a better understanding of the heritage and importance
of this world class tree collection. More information can be found at
Useful links: www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt-spring
Source: Westonbirt – The National Arboretum