Autumn at Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, managed by the Forestry Commission, will this year be celebrated with poetry and photography inspired by the tree collection’s spectacular seasonal changes.
Each stop on the seasonal trail, taken by over 100,000 visitors each autumn, will feature a Japanese haiku-style poem selected from entries to a competition run by the Westonbirt Magazine over the summer.
Visitors will also have the chance to submit photographs to an online competition.
Autumn colour at Westonbirt Arboretum has excited visitors for over a century.
In the late 1890s and early 1900s, the picturesque design and exotic plantings were only available to guests of Westonbirt’s owners, the Holford family. A select few would be invited to ‘colour parties’ hosted by Sir George and Lady Holford.
George inherited Westonbirt in 1892 from his father, the arboretum’s creator, Robert Holford. Both men had a passion for the picturesque landscape design and exotic plantings that were popular in the Victorian period. Trees such as Westonbirt’s famous Japanese maples and Persian ironwoods were collected from around the world to produce a vibrant show of colour.
The arboretum was passed to the Forestry Commission in 1956 and opened to the public in 1962. Now, thousands of visitors each year make their way to Westonbirt during October and November to experience one of
nature’s most dramatic seasonal displays.
To find out more about the Inspired by Autumn photography competition, autumn guided walks, the colour watch blog and seasonal highlights, visit www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt from 1 September.