A spring equinox and a festival; a new season has begun at the Arboretum!

The Spring equinox marks the date when day and night equal in length. This causes 12 hours of sunlight almost everywhere on earth. We thought that was worthy of a party! We welcomed the Spring in our own special way with our first seasonal festival!

The heavens opened in time with the gates, but we were soon blessed with blue skies and sunshine. What a gift from nature! Visitors were invited to learn more about the arboretum by joining a tour of Tortworth. Collection Manager Jake shared his extensive knowledge of the many species and specimens growing here, whilst Maintenance Officer Gary brought the history of the Ducie estate to life with his infamous history talks!

Singing in the Spring

The marvellous voices of The Island Folk choir enchanted us with songs of the season, falcons and towering oaks. Such an incredible sound surely was enough to entice the world to wake after a long winters slumber? We certainly felt invigorated as Sorrel invited everyone to join the singing with her uniquely encouraging style.

Forest School activity sessions created tree spirits to protect our gorgeous gentle giants from weather, deer and other dangers. Visitors to the Arena were also invited to try stick balancing, whilst many a happy hour was spent exploring the branches and swings dotted around the Donkey Steps.

Nothing will tricera-top this…

The most exciting part of the day was introducing a new species to the Arboretum; the Woolemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis). A relative to the Monkey Puzzle, this tree dates back to the time of the dinosaurs! In fact it was thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered in Australia in 1994. Planting this tree was an incredibly special moment for the team, who now have the mammoth task of nurturing to adulthood. If we succeed it will be one of only around 100 fully grown Woolemi Pines on the planet. Phew!

Thank you so much to all who came along! Watch this space for details of our Autumn Festival, and a mini summer festival at our June Visitor Day. We’ll have a local visiting artist placing a special exhibition in the woods, and the Social Tree Climbers offering taster sessions for those wanting to experience the Arboretum on a higher level.

Sign up to our monthly event newsletter to hear about these events and more!

We hope to see you in the woods soon!!