The Friends' 400th Anniversary Appeal

Access for all at the Arboretum 


As we approach the 400th anniversary of the University of Oxford Botanic Garden & Arboretum and the 30th anniversary of the Friends in 2021, there is a major drive to improve the facilities at both the Garden's sites. At the Arboretum, an application is being made to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for a visitor centre and improved access. 

The Friends, in support of this application, have undertaken to raise the funds to improve the path network: both restoring the existing paths and putting in new ones to improve access to areas of the site hitherto inaccessible to many people, in particular those visitors with wheelchairs and buggies.

Anyone who has visited the Arboretum recently will be aware of the dire state of the paths and of the car park and so will appreciate the urgent need for investment to be made. This is vital for the Arboretum’s aim to encourage people to engage with our natural heritage and benefit from the wellbeing that contact with nature brings. An additional bonus will be that new planting areas will be created to help renew the Arboretum’s collections and prepare it to be a wonderful site for this century and beyond. 

The new paths (see the map below) will include a new circuit round some of the best parts of the Arboretum, including the Acer glade and the bluebells, and will also improve access to the woodland barn and the composting lavatories. What is also really exciting about these plans is that the new paths will open up areas of the Arboretum and allow the display of the plants collected by the Arboretum and Garden teams from Japan, California, Ethiopia and elsewhere.

The Friends are aiming to raise £750,000. All contributions will be most welcome, and we hope that you will feel able to help us reach this ambitious target. 

All donors will be recognised (unless they choose not to be) and there will be naming opportunities for the largest donations.

You can donate online now or download our leaflet for alternative donation methods. 

Friends Paths Appeal