From blossom printing to investigating pollen under microscopes, families can get into the swing of spring this Easter at the Forestry Commission’s National Arboretum at Westonbirt.

From Tuesday 26 to Friday 29 March (10.30 am – 4 pm), Westonbirt hosts the Easter Challenge. Children will have the opportunity to create spring-themed crafts including flower sewing cards and blossom printing and solve riddles on the family trail for a sweet reward.

Easter Challenge crafts at Westonbirt Arboretum. Credit Forestry Commission/ Gina Mills.

The following week, from Tuesday 2 to Thursday 4 April (10.30 am – 4 pm), families can find out more about the creatures that live in our woodlands.

Crafts and activities will enter the realm of giants and tiny micro-worlds, discover tree champions and uncover the incredible hidden processes that help trees to survive.

Commenting on the activities, Ben Oliver, the Forestry Commission’s Learning and Participation Manager at Westonbirt Arboretum said:

“These activities focus on family fun, but give a great opportunity for everyone taking part to connect with trees and nature as our woodlands spring back into life.”

Westonbirt Arboretum is open across the Easter Bank Holiday weekend and self-guided seasonal and family play trails are available from the Great Oak Hall.

All family craft activities take place in the Learning Centre from 10.30 am to 4.00 pm and are free after admission.

From 1 March to 30 September, admission to the arboretum is £8 for adults, £7 concessions and £3 for children. Visit on a Wednesday throughout April and May and take advantage of half-price admissions.

Westonbirt Arboretum is three miles southwest of Tetbury on the A433 (Tetbury to Bath Road). It is 10 miles north east of Junction 18 of the M4, and southeast of junction 13 of the M5.

Easter Challenge crafts at Westonbirt Arboretum. Credit Forestry Commission/ Gina Mills.

1. Westonbirt, The National Arboretum is managed by the Forestry Commission and is renowned worldwide for its tree and shrub collection. Home to five national collections, the arboretum covers 243 hectares (600 acres) and contains 16,000 labeled specimens. Visitor numbers are 350,000 a year, with a membership of over 28,000. Westonbirt Arboretum was established in the 1850s by wealthy landowner Robert Holford and later developed by his son George Holford. Unlike many arboretums, Westonbirt is laid out according to aesthetic appeal rather than scientific or geographical criteria. 

2. The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. www.forestry.gov.uk.

3. 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 over 28,000 members, other fundraising, and the use of the Great Oak Hall for events and activities. The Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum is a registered charity (no. 293190). www.fowa.org.uk

4. The Westonbirt Project will make a big difference to everybody who comes to the arboretum. The project will mean a better welcome, a better visit and a better understanding of the heritage and importance of this world-class tree collection. 

Source: Westonbirt: The National Arboretum