Fundraising for £3.6 million Westonbirt Project passes half way point (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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Fundraising for £3.6 million Westonbirt Project passes half way point
10:28am Tuesday 7th August 2012 in News
Fundraising for a new Welcome Building and a plan to restore the Grade I Registered landscape at Westonbirt - the national arboretum - has passed the £2 million mark.
This goal has been achieved thanks to £1.8 million raised by the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum and £500,000 of investment recently confirmed by the Forestry Commission.
In total £2.3 million has been raised towards the £3.6 million project, which aims to connect more of Westonbirt's visitors with the arboretum's trees and heritage.
Fundraising is being led by the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum, a registered charity which supports the Forestry Commission at the arboretum.
The new Welcome Building will contain displays about Westonbirt's world-class tree collection and history. It will also house dedicated ticketing, membership and information desks as well as a free mobility scooter hire point.
The Grade-I registered landscape will be restored by relocating the car park and replanting rare grassland area currently under Tarmac.
The Forestry Commission investment will be used to build the new car park away from the historically important and environmentally sensitive downland. Work will start on the new car park in the next six months.
Brian Mahony, director of Forest Enterprise England, said: "The Westonbirt Project is such an exciting vision and the Forestry Commission is proud to be working with the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum to achieve it.
"I'm sure we all agree that the arboretum is a very special place and the plans will make a real and lasting difference to everybody's visit."
Stephen Segar, chairman of the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum, said: "We are delighted with the level of support that our Friends, neighbours and visitors have shown for the Westonbirt Project.
"This is a real landmark in the fundraising campaign and thanks to the support so far, we are one step closer to seeing our dreams for Westonbirt's future turn into reality."
Victorian boundary features will be replaced or restored, and improvements to site layout and signage are also part of Westonbirt's plans. Find out more at www.westonbirtproject.co.uk
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