Westonbirt Arboretum summer play trail - panel 1 text

Hopscotch with a twist!

Updated 21st June 2023

Trees are literally good for our health!

Believe it or not, so much of our modern medicine is derived from trees. Playing is also good for health, so why not take a crack at our hopscotch grid with a twist… we’ve replaced the numbers with leaves of trees which have specific health properties!

Pacific yew (Taxus brevifolia)

Taxol was derived from the bark of the Pacific yew. It was used in the treatment of breast, lung and  ovarian cancer. Today taxol is produced synthetically.

Pine (Pinus)

Pine needles have long been used as a tea infusion. They are high in vitamin C (good for the immune system) and vitamin A (good for eyesight, hair, skin and red blood cell reproduction).

Hinoki (Chamaecyparis obtusa)

Exposure to Hinoki stem oil could increaseanti-cancer proteins in our bodies.

Plane tree (Platanus x hispanica)

Being hugely tolerant to pollution, the plane tree is often planted in cities and towns; they literally ‘clean’ the air for us!

Weeping willow (Salix babylonica)

Willow bark has been used for thousands of years in traditional medicines to provide pain relief. The active agent Salicin would later form the basis of our modern day aspirin.

Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus)

Eucalyptus has long been used as a traditional remedy to cure fevers; nowadays it is best known for the essential oil that helps unstuff blocked noses!

Box leaf azara (Azara microphylla)

Has been used as an anti-inflammatory and painkiller by the Curruhuinca community in the Andes, in traditional medicine.

Prickly ash (Zanthoxylum clava-herculis)

Known as the ‘toothache tree’ because chemicals in the bark have been used in some cultures to numb the teeth and the mouth.

Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides)

With berries high in nutrients, their oil was once used to protect Russian astronauts from sunburn and treat victims burnt in the Chernobyl nuclear accident.

Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua)

The young seeds contain shikimic acid, which is the chemical starting point for Tamiflu, a drug used to treat Influenza.

How to play hopscotch with a twist!

Take aim and score big with our arboreal twist on this playground classic. Grab three pine cones from the basket. Try to get your cones through the leaf shaped openings in the coloured wooden

Hopscotch panels. Add up your total score:

1 Pacific yew

2 Hinoki

3 Weeping willow

4 Box leaf azara

5 Sea Buckthorn

6 Pine

7 Plane tree

8 Eucalyptus

9 Prickly ash

10 Sweetgum