Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum

Up and Away!

Posted: April 26, 2013 at 21:41 pm Author: Louise Bird

I have said before that a fundraiser’s life is never boring… and this weekend was no exception.

Hot air balloon basket and burner

I was given the fantastic opportunity to go up on one of the Bristol Balloons flights from Westonbirt Arboretum. The Meningitis Trust have recently teamed up with the hot air balloon company and were doing a PR shoot for the partnership at the arboretum. And I was lucky enough to be allowed to hitch a lift!

I was given a crash course in how to use a camera (and strict instructions not to drop it!) so that I could try and get some photos of the new car park currently being built as part of the Westonbirt Project. It looks great and was fantastic to see some real progress and something that actually looks like a car park!

The new car park in progress

There couldn’t have been a more perfect Spring evening for my adventure. The sun was shining, there was just the right amount of wind (that was even blowing in the right direction) and the flying conditions were perfect.

Shadow of the balloon

The arboretum looks stunning from the air. As well as getting a great bird’s eye view of the car park, I was able to see the route that the new Treetop Walkway would take in the Silk Wood (planned for Phase Two of the Westonbirt Project. AND our Magnolia sprengeri ‘Diva’ flowered just the day before my flight and was a beautiful pink beacon shining out from the emerging green shoots in the Old Arboretum.

Magnolia sprengeri ‘Diva’

A big thank you to the Meningitis Trust and to Bristol Balloons for letting me join them. Viewing the arboretum from up high was a fantastic experience that I would certainly recommend… I guess I’ll just have to wait for the Treetop Walkway to be finished before I get the chance to do it again though!