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Young adventurers to explore Westonbirt for free this summer

Children free at Westonbirt


Free admission, hidden play areas and wildlife trails for children. Children can discover a hidden world of adventure within the trees of Westonbirt, The National Arboretum this summer with exciting natural play trails and free admission for kids from 23 July to 30 August.

Seven different play zones are located amongst the trees of the Old Arboretum on the Naturally Playful trail; built with Westonbirt wood felled as part of the arboretum's tree management programme.

Children can build their own explorer's den, protect their woodland kingdom from inside tree forts, clamber over tree stump stepping stones or simply climb in or hide amongst the trees. 

Located in Gloucestershire, Westonbirt Arboretum is managed by the Forestry Commission, which has a national policy to get more children involved in outdoor and natural play.

Evidence that children's physical and emotional well-being can benefit from contact with woodlands and natural settings has been used to develop a natural play policy used across the country.

Simon Toomer, Arboretum Director commented:

"When people visit somewhere as impressive and historically important as Westonbirt Arboretum, they instinctively think they should keep to the paths. However, the beauty and tranquillity of our trees can also be a great place for fun and adventure.

"We want to encourage visitors to get off the paths and explore. Using the Forestry Commission's natural play guidance we have developed exciting, challenging areas buried within the tree collection for children to play and learn in.

"Using our special trails, children can become nature detectives to find out which birds and mini-beasts live amongst our trees and seek out the natural play areas."

Westonbirt Arboretum also has a special tree-inspired playground for under fives. The Exploratree experience, located next to the Courtyard Café, is designed to help develop young visitors' play skills and understanding of trees. Children can clamber under tree roots, encounter over-sized worms and climb into a giant bird's nest.

Find out more and download your family play map at or pick one up on site from the Great Oak Hall information point between 10am - 4pm.

Free admission for children promotion is from 23 July to 31 August and includes the Festival of the Tree.


Explore Gloucestershire
16 June 2010




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