Business buys 29 acres for major expansion plans
By James Young | 5th November 2019
One of Gloucestershire's gems is set to expand for the first time in nearly 200 years after it was announced that the National Arboretum in Westonbirt have purchased a neighbouring property.
Forestry England and the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum have purchased Silk Wood House, a 29acre (11 hectare property) to the south of the existing site.
The property includes three grass fields, a traditional Cotswold stone building and a series of outbuildings.
An announcement on the Arboretum website said: "Though there are no detailed plans as yet as to how the property will be used, this is a rare and exciting opportunity to expand the arboretum something which has not happened since 1840, when Robert Holford, the arboretum's founder, purchased Silk Wood.
"Over the next two years we plan to take a detailed look at the current facilities and layout of both the existing arboretum and Silk Wood House.
"This way we can fully understand how best to use this opportunity so we can fulfil our mission to 'connect people with trees,' now and in the future."
Westonbirt Arboretum has undergone a series of improvements over the past eight years, including improved facilities for staff and visitors including the new Welcome Building.
Work has also included the Wolfson Tree Management Centre and the STIHL Treetop Walkway.
The announcement added: "We now plan to build on these successes to ensure that the arboretum is ready to meet the demands of the future, continuing our work in conservation, research and education, whilst maintaining a brilliant visitor experience."
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