International Garden Photographer of the Year and Global Gardeners
exhibitions, April-May 2010

Westonbirt – the National Arboretum, which is managed by the Forestry
Commission,  will host two important collections of plant and tree
images throughout April and May.

The International Garden Photographer of the Year and the Global
Gardeners exhibitions will provide visitors with illustrations from the
Victorian plant hunting era and spectacular recent photography of trees
from around the world.

Simon Hough, events manager at Westonbirt commented:

“This is a great opportunity for visitors to experience both the past
and present of Westonbirt.

“Victorian plant hunters introduced many of the species found at the
National Arboretum today, which in turn provide the subjects of
spectacular photography today.”

In a collection compiled especially for the National Arboretum, the
International Garden Photographer of the Year exhibition will feature
all tree category finalists from the last two years of the prestigious
competition.

The first International Garden Photographer of the Year competition took
place at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in May 2008 and quickly
established itself as the world’s premier garden and plant photography
event. Kew will again host the winners and finalists from the third
competition this year.

The Global Gardeners exhibition is travelling display of illustrations
from plant collectors of the past and is on loan from Exeter’s Royal
Albert Memorial Museum.

Westonbirt has strong historical connections with the Global Gardeners
exhibition. The tree collection benefited greatly from the work of
prolific collectors of the Victorian era.  Westonbirt is still actively
involved in plant collecting through regular collaboration with the
Millennium Seed Bank on expeditions.

Both exhibitions are free to view after admission. The International
Garden Photographer of the Year finalists will be displayed on the
historic Downs area of the arboretum, whilst the Global Gardeners
exhibition will be displayed in the education centre. Visit on a
Wednesday in April and May and take advantage of half price admissions.

Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, Tetbury, Gloucestershire GL8 8QS
Telephone 01666 880220

For further information visit www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt.

Image attached: International Garden Photographer of the Year 2009
competition winner ‘Lone Fall Tree’ by Dennis Frates.

Westonbirt – the National Arboretum is part of the Forestry
Commission estate and is renowned worldwide for its tree and shrub
collection. Home to the National Japanese Maple (Acer) collection, the
National Arboretum covers 243 hectares (600 acres) and contains 16,000
specimens. Visitor numbers are 350,000 a year, with a membership of
23,000. Westonbirt Arboretum was established in the 1850s by wealthy
landowner Robert Holford, and later developed by his son George Holford.
Unlike many arboreta, Westonbirt is laid out according to aesthetic
appeal rather than scientific or geographical criteria.

The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in
England 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

Westonbirt – the National Arboretum is part of the Westonbirt
Heritage Partnership, which consists of the Forestry Commission, Friends
of Westonbirt Arboretum, Westonbirt School and the Holfords of
Westonbirt Trust. The Partnership plans to reconnect the historic
Westonbirt estate, conserve its unique heritage and inspire future
visitors through the Westonbirt Project. Plans for the project have
passed the first rounds of Heritage Lottery Funding application. The HLF
first-round pass means that the Westonbirt Heritage Partnership can now
progress to the second stage of the HLF application process. It has up
to the end of 2010 to submit more detailed plans and to apply for
further funding. www.hlf.org.uk

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 23,000 members, other
fundraising, and the use of the Great Oak Hall for events and
activities.

Source: Westonbirt The National Arboretum