Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum

Silk Wood Community Planting

In the heart of Westonbirt Arboretum, a silent threat called Chalara ash dieback devasted parts of the ancient Silk Wood, leaving behind a landscape etched with loss. Yet, from the ashes of this tragedy, a remarkable project has emerged: the Silk Wood Community Planting Project.

Silk Wood Community Planting

Not your average tree-planting initiative

This project is an ambitious three-year endeavor to not just restore the woodland, but to transform it into a vibrant "Community Woodland" – a living testament to collaboration and environmental stewardship.

Hundreds of passionate individuals are joining forces with the dedicated team at Westonbirt. Together, they'll embark on a journey of shared purpose: designing the future of the forest, clearing the ground, and meticulously planting 9,000 carefully chosen saplings.

Over 20 resilient tree species will be woven into the landscape, creating a tapestry of biodiversity and strength. Native heroes like English oaks and field maples will stand tall alongside newcomers, perhaps even beech trees from sun-drenched Italy, symbolizing the project's embrace of adaptation and resilience in a changing climate.

This isn't just about planting trees; it's about building a legacy. A legacy of community, of environmental responsibility, and of hope for a greener future. While the project is still gathering its resources, the first wave of saplings have been planted this winter.

Unveiling the story as it unfolds! Dive deeper into the Silk Wood Community Planting Project through our blog, where we'll share updates, progress reports, and inspiring stories.

Latest updates:

All hands on deck

Saplings and Spikes

See how our amazing team of volunteers helped the saplings thrive at Silk Wood. They tackled the thistles and brambles, making way for easier access and protecting the new trees.

Children planting trees

First Planting Season is Complete!

It’s been a brilliant few months for us here at the Silk Wood Community Planting Project. Since January over 600 participants came to plant a grand total of 3300 trees!

Special thanks to the funders of this ongoing project for their invaluable support which has nurtured new life in Silk Wood, from thriving native trees to a vibrant community invested in its future. Their generosity has helped secure a flourishing legacy for generations to come.

National Lottery Heritage Fund

The John Horseman Trust

Swire Charitable Trust

Garfield Weston Foundation

MillerKnoll Foundation

The Summerfield Charitable Trust

Gloucestershire County Council

The D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust

Join us on this extraordinary journey

Be a part of the story as the Silk Wood Community Planting Project unfolds, page by page, branch by branch.

Together, we can rewrite the future of this woodland, transforming loss into a vibrant symbol of collaboration and resilience.

Become a member