Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucester has been given a £1.9m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to improve the aesthectics and visitor potential of this beautiful site. The collection of trees is one of the largest in England.
The grant will go towards resorting the Grade I listed landscape. The first phase of the project is to build a new visitors centre along with a new car park to help inform and provide better facilities for the 350,000 visitors the arboretum receives each year. There are also plans for the landscape to create a tree walkway on the site.
Simon Toomer, Arboretum director said: “This is a great step forward to raise the level of the arboretum’s visitor and learning facilities to match that of its world class tree collection.”
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) gives grants to sustain and transform our heritage, with the aim to have a lasting impact on people and places.
An arboretum is a collection of trees. Related collections include a fruticetum, a collection of shrubs and a viticetum, a collection of vines. An arboretum is more commonly known as a botanical garden.
Westonbirt was founded in 1828 as the private collection of trees belonging to Captain Robert Holford. The arboretum comprises some 18,000 trees and shrubs, featuring 2,500 different species from around the world over an area of approximately 600 acres. It has 17 miles (27 km) of marked paths, which also provide access to a wide variety of rare plants.