Nottinghamshire Healthcare is currently undergoing a trust-wide initiative to promote sustainable and healthy living through the development of trust sites and services. The work aims to incorporate the work of the NHS Forest Project to enhance biodiversity and create calming, green spaces for staff and service-users.
- Nottinghamshire Healthcare has installed over 60 wildlife habitats across its sites as part of an initiative to improve biodiversity and encourage wildlife. Habitats included three types of bird nesting boxes, bat roosting boxes, hedgehog habitats and bug boxes.
- 100 trees were planted to mark the queen's centenary celebrations at Rampton Hospital. A range of 15 different species are now located around the site along with two larger ‘feature’ trees in prominent locations.
- Over 100 trees were planted on Nottinghamshire Trust sites to help mitigate the effects of global warming with regard to the Trust’s carbon footprint. A further 75 trees have been planted so far as part of the ‘Green Spaces’ scheme to redevelop and revitalise underused or unsuitable garden spaces.
Child and Adult Mental Health: A small orchard garden has been planted on an underused area. Trees include various species of apple, pear, plum and damson which can be used by staff and adolescent service users in the on-site kitchen. Wildlife borders were also planted to encourage birds and wildlife onto the site.
A further garden is planned for the unit to provide a calming environment and seating for outdoor activities. Wildlife planting will encourage birds and butterflies onto the site.
Mental Health Services for Older People: Staff helped to create two garden spaces for elderly service-users. During the corporate day team leaders and helpers re-vitalised an existing garden which was not suitable for use by removing shelters and structures which hindered access to the garden. A second garden was created for service-users with mobility issues which is closer to the ward. Staff were assisted by a team from Laing O’Rourke who provided materials and labour as part of their good corporate citizen commitments. Thank you to everyone who helped on the day and to Laing O’Rourke for their generosity throughout the process.
Adult Mental Health: Two further gardens will improve accessibility for adult service-users by providing raised beds and improving ground surfaces.
Biodiversity at Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s Lower Wells Road: At The Wells Road Centre, part of Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s Forensic Services Division, staff had the vision of developing and managing an area of overgrown, unused land adjacent to the unit into a therapeutic green space. The aim was to allow patients respite from ward environments to aid recovery, as well as engaging staff and patients in vocational activities which have a positive impact on the environment. Patients were consulted and involved in the project from the start, which included seeding the area with grass and planting trees. Cabins provide space for educational activities, and housing has been introduced for goats, chickens and other small animals, which have started to arrive.
Hard work by patients and staff has seen an area of wasteland turned into a therapeutic green space. The site now has an orchard; an area where livestock will be reared, raised beds for food growing, a small woodland area and a wildlife pond is also planned. Staff involved with the project at Lower Wells Road have integrated sustainability at every step of their journey and have reused and recycled lots of items which have been found on site including rocks for drainage and tree branches for a ‘bug hotel’. It will also be the first site within the Trust to have a composting toilet. It is hoped in coming months that bird and bat boxes will be made by patients and put up around the site.
Kevin Tone, Social and Recreational Co-ordinator, said: “This fantastic new area means patients, staff and visitors can all have the opportunity to enjoy the natural environment. For patients in particular it will help the development of lifetime attitudes towards a healthy lifestyle
and access to nature as a positive coping strategy." The area has now been re-named as 'Spinney Meadow'
In support of the NHS Forest 2@2 Campaign, during NHS Sustainability Day 2015, staff and patients planted two apple trees on site. They were helped on the day by three students from the University of Derby, who as part of their studies had completed a plant species survey to help develop a Biodiversity Action Plan for the site. Their visit was attended by Senior Lecturer Dr Mark Bulling who said “The students have been able to utilise the knowledge gained from their degree programme in a practical situation, which will help improve the local environment and hopefully have a beneficial effect on the lives of the patients at Well’s Road. They have also gained valuable experience, and had fun working with the staff and patients at Lower Well’s Road.”
It is hoped that this first survey will be the first of many to take place over the coming years to chart how the site development is having a positive impact on biodiversity in the area.
Kevin Tone, Social and Recreational Coordinator at the site, added: “The patients and hospital are very passionate about sustainability and the environment. The site is a fantastic opportunity to establish and build links with universities and colleges to give students a place to learn, but also teach patients about biodiversity. The positive effect on recovery is fantastic and both patients and staff are very excited - I personally feel very privileged and excited to be part of this amazing project.”
In 2019 Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has been working hard to continue to improve their green space and involve service users in the activities on site, providing great training opportunities too. Their main patient project in the last few months has been to build an outdoor clay pizza over from reclaimed bricks and snooker table slates. The trust held a trade skills event and refurbished an old shipping container, providing opportunities for patients to learn new skills, plumbing in and fitting the kitchen.