The National Arboretum’s Westonbirt Illuminated Trail

Our creative team pride themselves on devising something new and engaging for each year’s event.

“We seem to come up with crazier ideas each year. As yet, our technical guys have not been defeated! My personal highlight is the smoke ring generator, a hit with Powerline and the paying public alike”

Ben OusbyPowerline Project Manager

Westonbirt Arboretum’s “Illuminated Trail” – part of its “Enchanted Christmas” event – was born out of a desire to utilise fallow equipment at a traditionally quiet time of year for outdoor events. This pioneering format has since been replicated throughout the UK, and the Westonbirt Trail’s resounding success has made it a regular feature for many families’ Christmas celebrations.

 

Fundamentally, Powerline deploy many kilometres of cabling, and a network of generators to cater to the Trail’s electrical demands. We have switched to LED and other low energy consumables to improve energy efficiency, but our Green commitments take centre stage in the form of our Battery Room; charged via our wind and solar units, this custom-built unit powers some on-site LED showcase areas with zero emissions.

 

Critical power aside, Powerline’s staff look forward to the Illuminated Trail because it allows us to showcase our artistic side. For each installation – a spectacular mile-long display through the heart of the tree collection – the basic brief stays the same, but each year the content, layout, and emphasis shifts dramatically. Our creative team pride themselves on devising something new and engaging for each rendition.

Jim Creed – Powerline’s MD – walks each year’s chosen trail route, and sets out his pace notes for the theme and overall style of the walk. The creative team, headed by Ben Ousby – who many will recognise from the BBC Countryfile feature on the 2013 Trail – then embark on an intensive mission to realise these proposals.

 

Alongside old favourites – such as the central 1000mm wide mirror-ball (affectionately known under our working title “The Death Star”) – this year’s additions included a stunning display of “Crystal Drop” lighting suspended beneath the trees.

 

Powerline are ably supported by the Westonbirt staff, who undertake much of the ancillary infrastructure work, and offer a day-by-day critique and encouragement. The Westonbirt team especially look forward to the client walk-round, where they get a sneak preview of the installation!

We are proud to have contributed to the magic of another festive season, and to another successful event.

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