In the southwest of The Cotswolds, between Tetbury and Chipping Sodbury, lies the Westonbirt Arboretum, where the Autumnal arboreal fireworks are some of the best in Europe.The arboretum was created around 1829 and many of the specimens now present date back to that time. The site covers an area of 600 acres and includes areas of Ancient Semi Natural Woodland, specimen plants and open grassland. This woodland is an important area in itself as it represents one of the largest areas of woodland of its type in the area. It is primarily Oak Standards with an understorey of Hazel coppice with some areas of high forest.
Today Westonbirt is a Grade One listed landscape. The Holford family, who started the collection, planted in a picturesque style following the guidelines laid down by W.S.Gilpin. It is the landscape that the Holfords created that give Wesonbirt the grade one listing. New maple plantings will, in time, create the world’s best collection of Maples and is in keeping with this tradition.
The combination of this variety of trees within a beautiful Cotswold setting make for some unforgettable walks, and are a must see if you visit during the Fall. If you'd like to see what Westonbirt looks like right now, check out their Autumn Colour Watch page, where new photos are posted on a regular basis. The official page is on the Forestry Commission's site, right here.
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