Gloucestershire is full of picturesque destinations to visit with everything from beautiful Cotswold villages to heritage sites – and with 15,000 specimens and 2,500 species of tree from all over the world, Westonbirt Arboretum is up there as one of Gloucestershire’s most beautiful places to explore.
In this hot list, sponsored by the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum, SoGlos rounds up 9 reasons why you should support the charity and become a friend.
Please check local restrictions and opening information before travelling.
Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum is a charity with more than 35,000 members who support The National Arboretum.
With this support, the friends are able to fund on-going maintenance, new developments and innovative projects, which all help the arboretum to thrive.
For more information, visit fowa.org.uk
There are 15,000 tree specimens, five national tree collection and seasonal activities for all, so whether the sun is shining or there is snow on the ground, those who are a Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum member will be able to access the arboretum for free throughout the year. You won’t want to miss it when it bursts into stunning autumn colour.
What better way to get little ones involved in nature than by visiting the arboretum? Members are able to bring up to four of their children or grandchildren, who are under the age of 18, to Westonbirt Arboretum for free when they visit.
It’s not just children that members can bring to Westonbirt Arboretum for free. During the wintertime, traditionally between November to March, every Tuesday is Member Tuesdays – which means that members can bring a friend for free.
All members need to do is select their own ticket, then add a ‘Friend of a Friend’ ticket to their basket and enter their membership number, where they’ll then receive a free ticket for them and their friend.
Humans aren’t the only ones welcome at Westonbirt Arboretum. Silk Wood is a great place to walk your dog and well-behaved pooches are welcome off lead if they are well behaved, kept in sight and return when called.
Members can also share adorable pictures of their dogs exploring the woods on Instagram under the hashtag #westonbirtwalkies.
Scientists have said that trees will play a vital role in helping to combat climate change – and of the 15,000 specimens of tree at Westonbirt Arboretum, more than 100 different species are classified as threatened and in need of conservation.
Becoming a member can support this work by helping finance the arboretum’s conservation work, which in turn will help to tackle climate change.
Becoming a member of the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum will also help support the arboretum’s 10-year vision, which focuses on conservation, education and participation.
The arboretum aims to get more people to connect with its heritage, encourage different perspectives to be heard and support ongoing learning to increase the arboretum’s effectiveness — all while inspiring people with the beauty of nature at the same time.
Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum adult members also get discounted entry to partner gardens, including Batsford Arboretum, National Botanic Gardens of Wales and Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, once it’s safe to travel again.
That’s not the only discounts on offer to Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum members. Friends are also entitled to half price Friday tickets for the ever-popular Enchanted Christmas trail, which is sure to get you in the festive spirit.
Those who become a member of Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum will be entitled to a range of offers and discounts from its network of partners – such as Cotswold Outdoor, Runners Need and Snow & Ski. This also includes discounts on holidays and short breaks with Forest Holidays as well as discounts on adventurous days out at GoApe and more.
For more information about Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum, visit fowa.org.uk.
By Maddy Richards
Friday 19 February 2021
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