I would like to respond to Sally Reeve’s letter Westonbirt in the SNJ of 18 November.

Firstly, I think she has confused the Arboretum with the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum.

The Arboretum is run by Forestry England and is not a charity. The grant made to the Arboretum would have been to defray the costs of running the Arboretum lost when there were no paying visitors.

The Friends is a charity set up to support the Arboretum and members have the benefit of entry to the Arboretum for 364 days each year.

Membership is no different to membership for other organisations.

I am a member of the Friends as I am of the National Trust and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. I have not asked for a refund on any of these organisations nor would I. Each organisation has had enough to contend with in these truly unusual times.

I do not understand how she claims to have lost around 8 months’ of membership fees as the Arboretum has been open to visitors for several months now.

As a volunteer I have not been able to carry out any duties at the Arboretum since March. I am sad about that but understand the reasoning and will look forward to starting again when allowed.

The Arboretum staff need a little understanding at this time as it has been doubly hard for them.

Margaret Headen