About the Legion
21 November 2012
The National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire is on course for a record year for visitor numbers. Despite poor weather this summer, the Arboretum, which is part of The Royal British Legion family of charities, has attracted consistently high numbers of visitors, experiencing a record month in July when footfall reached more than 40,000.
Visits by school parties of all ages are also on the rise, with a year to date figure of over 6,500 students; a 37% increase in the number of students visiting as part of the Arboretum's Education Programme since 2011.
This is expected to increase further by the end of the year, with school groups booked in until the middle of December.
The Arboretum has also shown continual growth in terms of the number of memorials on site, which now exceeds 250. Recent additions have included memorials for the Salvation Army, Cheltenham College and the Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces (PARAs), with many more approved for construction in the coming months.
This growth comes ahead of the new building work scheduled to begin at the Arboretum in early 2013. The £12 million development project will include the creation of a Remembrance Learning Centre to explain to visitors the importance and meaning of Remembrance and the significance of the Arboretum; a Pavilion to accommodate many of the 200+ events and conferences that take place every year and 'Heroes' Square', a partially covered outdoor area for major set piece events.
Paul Kennedy, the Arboretum's curator said "The Arboretum has grown organically since it opened to the public eleven years ago. We have seen a consistent rise in visitor numbers, special events and the number of memorials on site and we now look forward to embarking on the next step - the creation of a World renowned Centre for Remembrance, worthy of those who have served and sacrificed."