End of an Era for GreenWood’s Exhibition

19 years on and it’s time to say goodbye to the Exhibition within GreenWood Forest Park’s Great Hall.

GreenWood Forest Park’s story began back in 1993 when husband and wife team Stephen and Andrea Bristow started the business, then called The GreenWood Centre by building the Great Hall (the main building at GreenWood today) as an education centre. With the aim of raising awareness about nature and wildlife, the Exhibition includes all sorts of interesting artefacts collected by Stephen during his community forestry work all over the World.

The World of Trees Exhibition focuses on two main areas; Trees in the Environment and Trees and their Products.  At the beginning of the Exhibition you are greeted by a large Californian Redwood tree which, over the years, visitors have been able to touch to feel how thick the bark was.  As you carry on through the Exhibition, you are then told the story of the Celts and their Tree Calendar, and also about bees. The next section focuses on tropical climates where you can feel the heat of the desert on your hands or even feel the strength of a desert sandstorm blast. This shows how trees can adapt to cope in all types of climate.  As you head out of the tropical zone you are led into an African Nomad hut from Kenya. Barrel making, wheelwrights and paper production are then all explained, and tree products such as rubber, gums, amber and frankincense can be touched and smelled.

New exhibits have been added over the years including a video on the construction of the Great Hall, as well as information about the various processes and importance of recycling. The newest part of the Exhibition, which was installed in 2010, is the fascinating tale of HMS Conway.

Although an integral part of GreenWood’s history, the Exhibition is soon to be replaced – the space will be filled with a new café and a new, innovative, indoor play area. The company which began back in 1993 with just the Great Hall has evolved to what we know today- ‘GreenWood Forest Park’, North Wales leading Family Adventure Park which greets thousands of visitors each year.

Co-founder Andrea Bristow had this to say: “We are all a bit sad to say goodbye to the exhibition. I still remember fondly Dafydd Wigley on the opening day in 1993 with our three young sons in the African Hut. Gwenno who became a supervisor at GreenWood had brought in lovely photos of her as a child in the exhibition. So many children, many of whom are now grown-ups, have fond memories. Quite a few of them became staff. Hopefully some of the messages and memories will live on for a long time”.
Andrea’s husband Stephen Bristow added this: “The Exhibition was put together using a large number of artefacts that I collected over many years living and working in the dry lands of Africa.  The story of trees and their importance both in the environment and in our daily lives is a fascinating one, and this interactive exhibition has brought knowledge and interest to many thousands of visitors.  We will all be sad to see it go, but times move on and it is time for a change”

If you would like to see the Exhibition one last time, or have any stories about the Exhibition and what you remember of it, why not visit us during February half term from 10th-19th of February 2012. On 13th or 15th join Stephen and Andrea on a free tour of the park where they will discuss the history of the exhibits, the building and the park.

If you would like to contact us to tell us a story you have about the Exhibition you can email us on info@greenwoodforestpark.co.uk or leave a message on our Facebook page, or by letter to GreenWood Forest Park, Y Felinheli, Gwynedd, LL56 4QN.

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