The Jodrell Bank Arboretum is a beautiful family-friendly space in the grounds of Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre. Perfect for a picnic, a gentle walk, or even for burning off some energy, the arboretum allows visitors to switch off from the day-to-day and engage with the landscape and nature of the site.
Sir Bernard Lovell, founder of Jodrell Bank Observatory, had a life-long passion for arboriculture (cultivating trees) . He was often gifted trees, seeds and plants on visits to observatories, universities and space projects around the world. So much so that in 1971 the arboretum at his family home became full and thus he started planting on the 35 acres of land of the Jodrell Bank site. These first trees formed the Lovell Tree Collection, which was started in 1972 and opened to the public in 1976. Find out more about the history of the arboretum here.
The Hornbeam Carpinus betulus ‘Columnaris’ (known as Lovell’s tree) was planted in 1974 as part of the Lovell Tree Collection
Today there are an impressive 3000 trees and shrubs on the site, with species from all over the world. Notably, the arboretum holds a collection of 30 varieties of British and foreign ferns and a National Collection of Malus trees (flowering crab apple).
The arboretum is wonderful place to explore all year round, with blossoming trees in the spring and a diverse range of berries, fruits and vivid colour in the autumn. There are fully accessible pathways which connect the playground and parts of the arboretum. Bring your wellies along (it can get muddy!) and venture off the paths to see what you might find.
Our fantastic volunteers continue Sir Bernard’s legacy and have devoted time and effort into protecting and supporting the biodiversity of the gardens and arboretum. In recent years Garden Volunteer Days have been a popular way for people to engage in a very hands on way.
Volunteers pictured on a Garden Volunteer Day
As part of our National Lottery supported First Light Project which will also see a stunning new pavilion being built in the gardens. Sadly, this saw the departure of our beloved Galaxy Garden, which many visitors enjoyed over the years. Nevertheless, the new pavilion’s design encompasses the natural ethos of the site and will be right at home next to the arboretum. The work is currently ongoing so do bear in the mind that some areas will be out of bounds.
The Galaxy Garden which has now made way for the new Pavilion