The Castle Howard Arboretum Trust is a registered charity which was set up to safeguard and promote the nationally important collection of trees in the arboretum and nearby woodlands on the Castle Howard estate. The arboretum as we know it today was created through the enthusiasm and partnership of George Howard (Lord Howard of Henderskelfe) and James Russell (pictured above) over a period of 18 years, from 1975 to 1992.
It has operated under the trading name of the Yorkshire Arboretum since 2013. The work of the arboretum is summarised by the strapline “Inspiration, Education, Conservation”. The site is set within a beautiful landscape of parkland, lakes and ponds and hosts a wide variety of trees, both within woodlands and in isolation; built facilities include a children’s playground, café and visitor shop. The arboretum has become a popular visitor attraction in its own right, and welcomes families, walkers, hobbyists and professionals from around the world looking to take in its natural beauty and get involved with its busy events calendar.
The Castle Howard Arboretum Trust was set up as a partnership between the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew and the Castle Howard Estate, but functions independently of both.
Today the Yorkshire Arboretum is managed by a small team of staff, who are in turn assisted by a large number of dedicated volunteers. In August 2012 Dr John Grimshaw was appointed Director with curatorial responsibilities. Throughout its history the Trust has been dependent on grants, donations and goodwill to function effectively, and we are extremely grateful to all for their assistance.
The Tree Health Centre project meets several aims of the Trust Strategy:
Promote education and science. The overarching aims of the Trust - and the one which the Trustees hold most dear - is the aim of providing education to the wider public. The aims of the THC closely fit this strategic aim of the Trust and it is one which the project is well placed to serve.
Achieve long-term financial sustainability. The income from the Tree Health Centre project is projected to be relatively low at aorund 10% of the trust’s annual income, it does however represent a significant and welcome contribution.
Maintain and develop the collection. Developing the project on this site will have clear benefits to the collection ensuring the health of the existing Yorkshire Arboretum collection by making staff, volunteers and visitors aware of the need for biosecurity, disease identification and management.
Improve visitor facilities. Creating the centre will add a new experience for visitors and enable the Trust to interact with them in new ways. New facilities such as the toilets, kitchen facilities and creating a new entrance will further enhance the visitor experience.
Provide effective facilities for staff and volunteers. The new Centre will allow new and existing staff to operate in an environment that is fit for purpose and allow the successful operation of Tree Health Courses.