Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum

Conservation: Protecting our trees for the future

The challenge

The world’s leading climate scientists have warned that there is only a decade left to change our behaviours and prevent a climate catastrophe. Trees will play a vital role in the solution to this challenge.

At Westonbirt, within our living collection of 15,000 specimens, we have over 100 different species that are classified as threatened and in need of conservation.

Unfortunately, native and non-native tree species alike may have little tolerance or resistance to fight against pests and diseases. Together with a changing climate, we anticipate threats to be evolving challenges that we will strive to overcome over the next decade.

We keep our collection diverse with seed collecting trips all over the world

Our response

Westonbirt will become an internationally recognised base for scientists to improve and expand our knowledge. We will work with national and international partners to tackle the difficult global challenges our changing world poses to trees and the ecosystems they support.

By predicting what the future may hold, we will identify species adapted to climate change and determine how to protect the trees we already have. To do this we will work to improve our facilities and skills, to enable us to conserve, develop and utilise our unique collection and share our knowledge widely.

'The world's response to climate change - in terms of adaptation, mitigation and resilience - must focus more on forests' FAO

A new centre of science and learning will make use of our ‘living classroom’ and include flexible facilities to host this collaborative work and share the importance and wonder of trees with everyone. To allow this transformation we will look to acquire new land around Westonbirt when the opportunity arises to grow our capacity.

We will also build an understanding of the value and importance of the collection we care for, taking radical action to improve our onsite sustainability.

Key Commitments

Develop our tree collection and landscape to make it more relevant to conservation and learning and growing resilience for generations to come.

Collaborate with others to develop and communicate useful research about trees and their value to society.

Understand the value of our natural capital to make better-informed decisions.

Become a leader in sustainability to encourage positive action.


Connecting people with nature


Sharing knowledge to create change

Make a difference

We’re more than just a great place for a day out – Westonbirt has a vital part to play in protecting the nation’s forests.

Change the world

Every little bit helps Westonbirt Arboretum to connect people with trees and safeguard these plants for future generations.