Westonbirt: The National Arboretum
Tony Russell was appointed Head Forester of Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire –
one of the finest collections of trees and shrubs in the temperate world – in 1989. His areas of responsibility included the development and management of the Arboretum; conservation of its many rare and endangered species, and interpretation of the collection as well as its environmental importance to others.
By 1999, he had increased annual visitor numbers from 140,000 to 300,000, resulting in the Arboretum becoming the third most visited garden in the UK at that time (after Kew Gardens and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Garden, Wisley). In 2000, the UK Government awarded National Status to Westonbirt in recognition of this achievement.
Tony left Westonbirt in 2003 and is now widely regarded as one of Britain’s leading authorities on trees and shrubs.