Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum

Gito the English setter trains falcons to hunt at Treefest!

Posted: June 15, 2012 at 11:19 am Author: Julie McKellar

Treefest is Westonbirt Arboretum’s signature summer event (25 – 27 August 2012) celebrating the best of trees and nature with crafts, woodland skills, family activities, food and music. Keep your eye on the Treefest blogs to find out how our plans for this year’s festival are progressing.

Dog in ArenaChildren in Arena

This year we have invited the Black Mountains Falconry back to display their wonderful birds, and it turns out that their English setter, Gito, has taught the falcons how to hunt! Gito is always at the event, and when the birds are not being flown, he is happy to use the arena for his own entertainment, much to the delight of the children.

What’s nice about the Black Mountains Falconry is they make this a real family show by getting all ages involved. Above is a photo of children being part of the show.


This year we have also invited the medieval puppet theatre Hand to Mouth. They were a big hit at last year's festival, and this year they have a new story “Here Be Dragons”. This is tale of George and the Dragon, told by the ageing Dragon himself, and his troupe of glove puppets.

Michael Loader

One of children’s favourite pastimes - storytelling – and we have invited Michael Loader back, along with his wonderful moustache. Here you can see how excited the children get when Michael tells his stories. This year it is all about Tales of Indians. Tall tales, wise tales, grisly tales and humorous tales from the Indians of the Americas. Get ready to pow-wow.

Michael will be telling stories twice daily in the Family Theatre.

ArcheryChild Archery

Last year we introduced the Medieval Village for the first time. They were very popular so we have invited them back. There will be a large village where you will be able to see demonstrations and hear about armour, weapons, arrow making, cooking and clothing. Each day there will be an archery show and you can even have a go at archery.

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Black Mountains Falconry:

Hand to Mouth theatre:

Michael Loader storytelling:

Wolfshead Bowmen archery: