On Friday 8th November Gillian French, Biffa Award Programme Manager and John Hughes, Chairman of the Biffa Award Board, were invited by the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum to the Holford Glade Tree Planting Ceremony.
The Holford Glade was cleared a number of years ago and the team at the Arboretum have been waiting for the perfect time to replant the area. A series of Monkey Puzzle Araucaria araucana trees, which were propagated at Westonbirt from wild seeds collected whilst in Chile in 2009, were planted on the day.
Once the Monkey Puzzle saplings are established they will be a stunning sight, very much in keeping with the aesthetic vision of the original Victorian landscape designers. The Holford Galde Monkey Puzzles are categorised as endangered on the Red List of Threatened Species It is envisaged that the Holford Glade will not only be dramatic and imposing but will also serve a conservation purpose.
Westonbirt Arboretum was able to recognise the contribution of Biffa Award and the other supporters of the project through special labels which accompanied the newly planted trees. Gillian was delighted to plant the Biffa Award tree and John the Rothschild Foundation Tree. Photos from the day can be found here.
The Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire have been granted almost £500,000 over two years to enhance the cultural heritage of the arboretum with a new interpretation zone and information plaza through the Biffa Award Flagship Scheme. Westonbirt is the National Arboretum and houses a living exhibition of 16,000 trees and plants, each with its own story to tell about the site's history. It is hoped that the new information area will provide the 350,000 annual visitors with a hugely enhanced experience, and allow them to learn more about its heritage.