March’s squally showers and whipping winds thankfully died down for this year’s  NHS Sustainability Day. In fact, 23 March dawned optimistically sunny and distinctly Spring-Like, which was very welcome as the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust's new head of operational estates, Claire Hennessy, was planting two new lime trees as part of NHS Forest's national Two@2 event, run by The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare.

She said: "These two lime trees replace two of the same species that had to be felled earlier this year as they were badly diseased. We have a biennial tree survey that has just been completed and, while most of our trees are in good condition, a few were identified for treatment, which is now underway. The John Radcliffe sits in a unique setting and our Estates Maintenance team does an amazing job keeping the grounds tidy, the plants and trees healthy for our staff, patients and visitors. Replacing trees is just one small part of our commitment to our environment."

Vallabesan Rasaratnam, the Trust’s energy and sustainability manager, added: “I was so pleased that the sun shone on us – but not surprised as, back in India, we have a tradition of planting lime trees launch great events, to turn things around, bring good weather, good times and good luck to the earth.”

Claire concluded: “I hadn’t heard of this Indian tradition before, but it is a lovely story that adds something special to our grounds. Now that we know that lime trees are so auspicious, we will look at them in a slightly different light!”