Mar 15 SWOG meeting Tortworth Arboretum 23 April By Judith

SWOG meeting 2pm Saturday 23 April, Tortworth Arboretum, South Gloucestershire

PrintTortworth Arboretum is a 20-acre site near Wooton-under-Edge, which was once owned by the Ducie family and forms part of the original Tortworth Estate. From the time he inherited the estate in 1853, the third Earl of Ducie, Henry John Moreton, complemented the existing ancient trees by planting new and exotic speicies brought back to England by the great Victorian plant hunters. By the time of his death in 1921 at the age of 95, Tortworth rivalled the collection at Westonbirt Arboretum just 30 miles away.

The arboretum’s collection of over 300 rare and champion trees hosts an amazing and unusual ecosystem including wild flowers, deer, bats, butterflies and dragonflies, as well as many bird types. It has suffered from serious neglect in recent decades, but the new owners, Woodlands.co.uk, have offered the Tortworth Forest Centre a unique opportunity to restore and open it for education, wellbeing and enjoyment. The team at the Forest Centre, led by Rebecca Cork, is working with volunteers to gradually clear the undergrowth, create paths and make the arboretum sustainable.

SWOG meeting 23 April 2016 2pm­–5pm

Bec will show us around the arboretum and talk about her work with community groups, volunteers and local conservation groups. There is still a great deal of work to be done: Bec and her team spend a lot of time clearing brambles and rhododendron, so there will be plenty of opportunity for discussion about many aspects of the work of small woodland owners, as well as the chance to appreciate some magnificent trees and habitat. Tortworth is not open to the public (although the website is) and places on this free visit are limited. If you would like to attend, please email judith@swog.org.uk.

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