Stihl Treetop Walkway

  • © Chris Marquis
  • © Rob Parrish
  • © Rob Parrish
  • © Rob Parrish
  • © Rob Parrish
  • © Rob Parrish
  • © Rob Parrish
  • © Rob Parrish
  • © Rob Parrish
  • © Rob Parrish

Application Type

Civic Trust Awards

Level of Award



South West

Local Authority Area


Information about this scheme

Westonbirt Arboretum is home to one of the finest tree collections in the world. It holds 16,000 unique specimens including a 2,000 year-old lime tree, all carefully laid out in woods, rides, glades and downs that form a beautiful Grade I listed historic landscape. The Stihl Treetop Walkway provides stunning new views over this landscape, in particular the ancient woodlands of Silk Wood and across The Downs, enhancing the appreciation of the estate’s natural heritage and offering an exciting and educational journey through the arboretum. At almost 300m in length it is also the longest structure of its kind in the United Kingdom, raising the arboretum’s profile and bringing new visitors from across the country. With its sensitive approach to design and material selection, the structure, constructed of larch, ingratiates itself with its environment with timber which will age gracefully, weathering to a silver-grey to complement the steel balustrade. Shortlisted for the Selwyn Goldsmith Award for Universal Design, the project has delivered an accessible, high quality, appropriate, well-designed structure, with well integrated interpretation. It has opened up a previously less visited area of Westonbirt Arboretum to all visitors to experience the same sensation regardless of age, size or ability, resulting in an increase in visitor numbers of almost 12,000 more in the first two months of opening.



Glenn Howells Architects


Forestry Commission

Main Contractor

Speller Metcalfe

Quantity Surveyor

PMP Consultants

Structural Engineer

Buro Happold

Access Consultant

Jane Toplis Associates Ltd


SH Structures

Primary Use Class

Class E1b - Bridges/Tunnels