Nature-loving locals can help to protect Westonbirt Arboretum’s national collection of trees by becoming a Friend of Westonbirt Arboretum – in return for some fantastic perks, such as free entry all-year round.
Founded in 1985, the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum charity has amassed over 37,000 members and supporters, who each play an important part in supporting its conservation, education and participation efforts at the arboretum.
Costing £40 per year for individuals, or £78 for two, membership fees help to fund projects to protect Westonbirt’s trees and botanical collection – as well as community initiatives to share knowledge about the natural environment and connect people with nature.
For example, this year will see the opening of Westonbirt Arboretum’s Quarantine House, a specialist facility that will boost biosecurity within its propagation unit, allowing the arboretum’s tree team to isolate seeds and young plants as they grow.
By keeping an eye on the young plant material and monitoring its health, the team will be able to grow new trees for Westonbirt, while protecting its existing living tree collection and historic landscape from non-native pests and diseases.
Westonbirt’s Community Shelter build is also underway in 2022, creating a safe and accessible space within the Silk Wood to house its engagement programme, which aims to help people from under-represented communities to connect with nature.
As a thank you for their contribution, Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum members will receive a whole host of benefits, including free year-round visits to enjoy Westonbirt throughout the seasons, with up to four children – perfect for parents or grandparents with little ones to entertain.
There’s also the option to bring a friend for free on Tuesdays during the wintertime, up until Tuesday 29 March 2022 this year; and discounted or free entry into its seven partner gardens across the UK, including Kew Gardens, Birmingham Botanical Gardens and the National Botanic Garden of Wales.
Plus, members can make the most of early bird access to the most popular events in Westonbirt’s annual calendar: its Forest Live concerts and Enchanted Christmas.
Also, enjoy a 10 per cent discount at the Westonbirt shop, as well as discounts from partner organisations like Cotswold Outdoor, Go Ape and Runners Need.
Anyone interested in becoming a member can help the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum to support the Gloucestershire site for generations to come by signing up via fowa.org.uk/join.