An Overdue Post After a Busy Summer – Hidden Voices – Westonbirt Arboretum

Autumn is peeping at the gates here at Westonbirt Arboretum. It has been a busy, family-focused summer. As well as running our family events for the general public throughout the school holidays we have been fitting in our regular visits from our three groups of participants.

The Macular Disease Society group made coasters from Westonbirt wood, and they helped us to create the wording for our 12 new tree labels. The labels will be on twelve trees that the group chose for their different sensory qualities. They are bigger than our standard tree tags and have black writing on a yellow background, which is what the group recommended to us as most accessible to them.

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Bristol Drugs Project participants were invited to come to a family day, where they could bring their children to share Westonbirt with them. Activities included den building and a walk with lots of sensory and nature activities. We had the benefit of meeting some new participants on this day, who would not normally be able to take part in the practical sessions due to family commitments. Below are two sisters taking their mum to “meet a tree”, an activity the adults had done with us before but the children were keen to share.

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Awaz Utaoh had chosen to avoid a visit during Ramadan to respect those members of their group who were fasting and so a family day was organised after Eid at the end of August. We met lots of children and grandchildren of group members and some husbands, cousins and even their Police Community Support Officer came too!

A well packed day, it featured tree food tasting (an activity we had run before and that they requested we repeat with the children), willow hurdle making, walking stick decorating, clay leaf tiles and a walk in the arboretum. Below are two of our regular participants with some of the younger people who visited for the day. 

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