Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum

Say hello to our 2023 Westonbirt Runners

Posted: February 27, 2023 at 11:18 am

We're proud to introduce our Westonbirt Runners to you, who will be taking part in the Westonbirt 10K to raise money for our charity to protect trees and enrich lives.

In October 2022, we opened applications to join the Run for the Trees team and selected the ten most enthusiastic runners, passionate about Westonbirt Arboretum! While our group of runners are steadily training for the big day find out why some of them decided to Run for the Trees…


I have always been a lover of trees since I was a child. When I moved to Bristol and discovered the Arboretum I knew I'd found my happy place. I have been there for all my highs and lows. Including when I found out I was pregnant after IVF and when life was hard, and I needed an escape. I later enjoyed days out there with my children and wider family. My running journey also started at Westonbirt; my first race being a 10K Run for the Trees.

Securing the future of Westonbirt Arboretum is essential for the lives of many. I am honoured to be part of the team.

Louise TaylorLouise Taylor

Support Louise on her JustGiving page:


I have been running for the trees for a few years and this is now the only 10K race that I do. I fundraise for the Friends because if you've ever been to Westonbirt Arboretum, you'll not only be blown away by its striking beauty, but you'll understand the scale and complexity of the work that's involved to keep it looking like that. Not only is it a haven for so much wildlife, but it's a mental health booster for humans and their fluffy companions. I look forward to taking my spaniels Peanut and Jelly training with me at Westonbirt.

Marc AlexanderPeanut and Jelly


I got into running following some personal challenges in my life, including my father’s death - which knocked me for six. Before I ran I was a “couch potato!” I joined a park run in my area and surprised myself that I could run. At park run I started off at 41 mins for 5K and my PB is 27.44. I discovered that being active helped my wellbeing and helped me process the grief and loss I was experiencing. Now I see running as an essential part of life as it helps me feel mentally balanced.

This is my first 10K run at Westonbirt and my second 10K run ever!

I hope that the money I raise helps support the projects at Westonbirt that help mental health and wellbeing. It’s well known that being outside with nature is good for us!

Claire SullyClaire Sully


My wife and I have been involved in Scouting all our lives, so naturally have a great love of the outdoors. So much so we got married at the Great Oak Hall at Westonbirt. Every year on our wedding anniversary we have returned to the Great Oak Hall to get our photo taken on the same spot we took our vows.

In the time that we have been married we have regularly brought our children to Westonbirt, for days out and various events and have been members of The Friends since getting married in 2013.

My wife set herself the goal of completing BBC's 'Coach to 5k' with it cumulating in entering and completing the 5K run hosted at Westonbirt, which I ran with her as support and am immensely proud of her for achieving.

I’m looking forward to running the 10k at Westonbirt as a means of honouring what will be our 10th wedding anniversary in 2023 whilst being able to raise funds for the charity which continues to aid Westonbirt. Allowing the current and future generations to come and access such a beautiful place of tranquility and enjoyment.

Support Paul on his JustGiving page:


I’ve always been an outdoors person and walking through forests or along community paths is something I enjoy doing. I find it a place of calm, a way to reset and disconnect from everyday life which sometimes can be chaotic and rushed. Westonbirt offers just that.

I first visited Westonbirt in 2011 when I moved to Bristol. We came to the Enchanted Christmas as part of our work Christmas event, and it was extraordinary. We were very lucky that it snowed and it was memorable.

I’m proud to be a Friend of Westonbirt Arboretum member. I’ve seen Westonbirt go through many changes. It’s my happy place and a place that my family also enjoys visiting on days out too.

It is well known that spending time around trees helps to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and improve mental wellbeing. So, I am proud to be a part of the team that is helping to secure the future of Westonbirt and the many projects that they support.

Daryl PhillipsDaryl Phillips

Support the Westonbirt Runners

We’ll be supporting our Run for the Trees team every step of the way along with some Westonbirt gear, fundraising and training advice. Each one of our runners aims to raise £250 to protect trees and enrich lives at Westonbirt Arboretum. So if you can, please help them reach their fundraising targets by donating to their JustGiving pages.

As we get closer to the 10K, look out for further updates on how our Westonbirt Runners are progressing.

If you’re interested in how you can fundraise for the arboretum, you can check out our guides for training and fundraising here.

Fancy joining the Run for the Trees team 2024? Please contact us via to be notified when applications open later this year.