Hugh Angus retires from Westonbirt arboretum

Hugh Angus, head of collections at Westonbirt, the National Arboretum, is to retire.

He joined the Forestry Commission, the arboretum's manager, in 1977, straight from college. After spells in Wales and Northumberland, he became curator of Westonbirt in 1987 and head of collections in 2003.

At the time he joined the Gloucestershire base, visitor numbers were 160,000 and the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum charity had just 600 members. Today the arboretum gets 350,000 visits a year and has more than 26,000 friends.

During his tenure, Angus oversaw the introduction of Maples restaurant, the Plant Centre and the building of the Great Oak Hall. He also played a part in some of Westonbirt's now signature events including concerts, Treefest and the Enchanted Christmas.

He was actively involved in the creation of tree plans and policies that have led to Westonbirt being seen as an internationally signifi- cant and respected tree collection.

"I am particularly proud of how professionally the collection is managed today," said Angus. "It is great to see Westonbirt actively collecting seeds from places such as Japan, Chile, the USA and Turkey. I truly believe that we can say we are managing to a world-class level."

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