Local Arboretum Wins Lottery Support for Kids’ Tree Planting
Children from schools in the Tortworth area will have an opportunity to plant a new generation of trees in an historic arboretum after the Tortworth Forest Centre was awarded a National Lottery grant to help maintain, map and preserve the renowned woodland.
Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the funding will see volunteers mapping, measuring and maintaining the historic trees at Tortworth Arboretum to ensure the 20-acre woodland’s exotic and rare trees are better looked after and catalogued for the enjoyment of future generations.
Planting for the future
As part of the project, local school children will be invited to the woodland to learn about the history and ecology of the arboretum. They will then be able to plant new exotic trees as part of our effort to maintain and regenerate the woodland.
The project also includes 12 volunteer days, during which volunteers will measure the height and girth of the trees and create a new woodland map. This data will be shared online along with historic information about the trees, so visitors can learn about the history of the woodland and the provenance of species growing there.
As it launches the new project, the Forest Centre will be holding an open meeting in September for anyone interested in volunteering. Organisers are particularly keen to involve local people interested in, or wishing to learn about, mapping and dendrology.
The project will finish in spring 2019 with an open day at which the volunteers will share this new information with the local community and tree enthusiasts.
A place in history
Tortworth Arboretum was planted by the 3rd Earl of Ducie from 1853 onwards and rapidly became home to an impressive collection of rare and exotic trees.
Sadly the woodland was undermanaged for several decades, but in 2014 it was purchased by woodlands.co.uk who leased the land for community use, and the Tortworth Forest Centre was born.
In the years since, volunteers have been working hard to clear bramble, rhododendron and bamboo, rediscover Victorian pathways, look after wildlife, open up the woodland and save the trees from decline.
This funding will allow volunteers to record the collection for the first time since 2001, as well as helping to improve the management of the trees for the enjoyment of all.
Commenting on the award, project founder Rebecca Cork said: “We are so pleased and grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund and National Lottery players for this funding which will make a huge difference to the woodland. More people will be able to visit the woodlands, and children can plant the next generation of trees and watch them grow, making sure the arboretum stays a beautiful place for everyone to enjoy”.
Notes to editors
About Tortworth Forest Centre Community Interest Company
The Tortworth Forest Centre is a not for profit social enterprise which aims to restore the arboretum at Tortworth for community use. We work with volunteers to open up pathways, plant trees, manage the woodland and teach woodland crafts, as well as providing wellbeing programmes and events for adults and children who benefit from time in the natural world.
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Thanks to National Lottery players, the Heritage Lottery Fund invests money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love; from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk.
For further information, images and interviews please contact: