North and West Wiltshire National Trust Association celebrated a first and last at recent meetings.

The first day trip of the 2014 season was a visit to Slimbridge while the last lecture of the winter series was entitled the Wonders of Westonbirt.

Members' visit to Slimbridge in order to see the winter birds still in the UK was, to say the least, wet. 

The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) is one of the world’s largest and most respected wetland conservation organisations working globally to safeguard and improve wetlands for wildlife and people.

Founded in the UK in 1946 by the late Sir Peter Scott, it complements wetland conservation work carried out worldwide with a network of UK visitor centres comprising 2,600 hectares of globally important wetland habitat, its work is supported by a membership base of over 200,000.

Graham Anstey, a volunteer at Westonbirt, the National Arboretum, gave a lecture at Seend Community Centre.

The historic, picturesque landscape and internationally important tree and shrub collection is managed by the Forestry Commission and supported by the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum.

The 14,902 labelled trees (around 2,500 different types of tree) come from Britain, China, North America, Japan, Chile and other temperate climates.

Planting started in the 1850s by Robert Holford; the rich Victorian landowner to whom the Westonbirt estate belonged.

Westonbirt attracts over 350,000 visits per year and is known worldwide for its spectacular autumn colour and the spring rhododendron, azalea and magnolia displays. The arboretum is popular for groups, individuals and educational visits.

The speaker was warmly thanks by the chairman, Bryan Earp, after a extensive show with many great pictures and after a many questions.

The next series of lectures starts in September.

Details of membership and our activities can be found on the association website or by contacting the membership secretary on 01225 703730.