Fascination of Plants Day 2013 at the Arboretum


Time Travel with Trees


In 2012 the Botanic Garden and Harcourt Arboretum teamed up with Oxford University’s Department of Plant Sciences to run a series of activities for school groups and the public as a celebration of Fascination of Plants Day (www.plantday12.eu). Building on the success of this collaboration, we planned a large-scale event at the Arboretum to celebrate the day in May 2013. Our theme was Time Travel with Trees.
Plant-related activities for all ages were provided by a wide range of university departments and other organisations, including the Botanic Garden and Arboretum, the Department of Plant Sciences, the Department of Chemistry, the Museum of Natural History,
PlantLife (www.plantlife.org.uk), and the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (www.bbowt.org.uk).

We had a Time Travel with Trees trail which followed plant evolution through geological time, as well as guided tours
of the Arboretum led by Curator Ben Jones, Arborist Guy Horwood and Senior Curator Alison Foster. Children received
a Time Traveller’s Passport at the ticket office on arrival and then got a stamp for their passport at each activity stand they visited. When they produced their fully- stamped passport at the feedback table they received a time traveller’s reward. Story-telling in the Firs and Ferns Glade was very popular, especially with our younger visitors, and delicious homemade teas were provided by the Friends.

Over 300 people took part in the day and the feedback was very positive.


"Really good day - please do this again. Thank you."

"We've been here 4.5 hours and loved every minute of it. Again next year please. Thank you."


The event was made possible by generous funding from Syngenta (www.syngenta. com) and Oxford University Press (www.oup.com) and with support
 from the Friends and from many dedicated volunteers.