Westonbirt, The National Arboretum is the perfect outdoor destination to enjoy the changing of the seasons
Autumn is the ideal time to visit Forestry England’s Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, for both gorgeous scenery and peaceful walks
When the temperature drops and the leaves start to change colour, there’s a real sense of a new beginning in the air. The arrival of autumn brings with it crisp, fresh mornings and gorgeous, golden evenings, making it the perfect season for reconnecting with nature. And, with more than 600 acres of beautiful woodland to explore, Westonbirt Arboretum is an ideal place to celebrate the new season in all its colourful glory.
Home to 15,000 trees from around the world, the arboretum transforms into a stunning spectacle of autumn foliage at this time of year. In fact, the arboretum boasts around 17 miles of different trails and paths, so there’s plenty of ways to enjoy the fresh air and experience that wonderful feeling of leaves crunching underfoot here.
Read on to get a glimpse into some of the work that goes on behind the scenes at Westonbirt and how you can plan your visit...
The chance to grow
More than 200 years old, the Westonbirt Arboretum has always had a rich diversity of tree species within its collection. For the past 60 years, it’s been able to facilitate important scientific research to aid conservation work.
Today, the arboretum boasts over 2,700 species and is a sanctuary for 113 threatened tree species. This makes it a vitally important place to act as a sentinel, monitoring the threats posed by pests and diseases, which are an ever-increasing hazard to the health of these plants. By being able to work closely with international partners to harvest seeds in the wild from the trees at risk, conservationists can work to help ensure that these tree species don’t become extinct.
This is essential work, that not only helps our woodlands to continue to grow, but also benefits human and wildlife health. For our own survival, we rely on trees to absorb the rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and turn it into the oxygen we breathe. By providing a living resource for scientists to research how best to protect the future of these precious plants, along with how to combat the damaging impacts of climate change on trees and woodlands, the National Arboretum is playing a key role in helping to create a healthier world for generations to come.
A safe space
Life may slowly be returning to normal now, but it’s fair to say the last few months have had their challenges. The good news is, spending time outdoors can play an important role in supporting both physical and mental wellbeing. So, if you’re looking for a way to unwind this autumn, a visit to Westonbirt Arboretum is ideal.
The staff here want to help by sharing their wonderful outdoor space with you – a place where you can reconnect to nature, to others and to yourself. But, in order to keep it a safe and enjoyable place to visit, there are a few new rules in place. Before you visit, please book your ticket online, choosing a specific timeslot. This will help to ensure the arboretum doesn’t get too busy or crowded. Once you arrive, it’s crucial to stick to social distancing guidelines. This applies to the woodlands itself, and also to specific attractions, such as the STIHL Treetop Walkway.
Full details of the guidelines currently in place can be found online. With your help, Westonbirt Arboretum can remain a sanctuary for people and plants for years to come.