Fans of Westonbirt, The National Arboretum can now enjoy a virtual visit around the historic tree collection with a new 3D and full colour 2D film.

Produced by Gloucestershire filmmakers iworkfilms, £2 from the sale of each DVD will go to the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum, the registered charity that supports the Forestry Commission at the arboretum.

The DVD shows Westonbirt Arboretum throughout the seasons and includes behind the scenes footage and extras.

Viewers are taken from the still beauty of winter, through to the awakening of the arboretum in spring, amongst the activity of summer and the fireworks of autumn colour. They are shown the tree team in action and given a taste of some of the important work undertaken by volunteers to monitor rare wildflowers onsite.

Louisa Lockwood, editor of the Westonbirt Magazine commented:

“The skilled filmmakers know the arboretum well and their care for it shows in this work.

“The carefully chosen subjects, the quality of the images and the insights from volunteers and staff are held seamlessly together by a joyful soundtrack composed by one of the DVD’s producers.”

Director and composer Steve Hilliker and producer David Warner are longstanding members of the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum who have donated their filmmaking expertise and time to support the arboretum.

Steve Hilliker commented:

“We hope that people enjoy watching the film as much we enjoyed making it.

“We were able to experiment with new and old techniques such as microscopy, infrared photography, traditional anaglyph 3D and state-of the-art digital 3D formats.”

The DVD is priced at £14.99 and includes two pairs of 3D glasses and postage and packaging within the UK and Channel Islands.

Watch a preview and order a copy from www.iworkfilms.com/westonbirt. Alternatively send your request and a cheque payable to ‘iworkfilms’ to Westonbirt Film, Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum, Westonbirt Arboretum, Tetbury, Gloucestershire, GL8 8QS.

More information about the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum can be found at www.fowa.org.uk.

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 labelled 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. Visit www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt.

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. Further information can be found at 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). More information at www.fowa.org.uk

4. A £3.6million fundraising campaign led by the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum is currently underway for the Westonbirt Project. Phase One of the project aims to improve the visitor arrival and experience by building a new Welcome Building, relocating the car park and restoring the Grade I Registered landscape. Work on Phase One is planned to start in 2013, subject to funds being raised. More information can be found at www.westonbirtproject.co.uk.

Source: Westonbirt – The National Arboretum