University Hospital, Coventry is a leading UK hospital "known for its success in heart, diabetes, kidney transplants, strokes and IVF". The trust joined the NHS Forest in 2009 and was an original pilot phase site.
University Hospital Coventry was chosen to be one of two Lottery-funded projects, known as Outer Space, because of the multiple opportunities here for health and wellbeing activities that would benefit hospital patients, staff, visitors and the community.
The hospital is newly-built and the site consists of a wetland area known as The Swales which forms part of the surface water drainage system. The site borders and drains into the River Sowe and benefits from this and its location at the edge of the hospital grounds by being a relatively peaceful spot. The area had already grown to be a very good natural habitat with some simple mown paths around the pools before the Outer Space project began.
The initial work here was around improvements to the access, taking on the general seasonal maintenance, the installation of benches and signage and a wildlife and species survey which involved local schools and community groups. Some beautiful sculptures, designed with the help of local school children were recently erected.
The Warwickshire Wildlife Trust promoted the project in the local area, and have developed further opportunities for individual and group participation. Health walks and yoga sessions have taken place and there are plans to create a Remember and Reflect walk that will reflect the highs and lows of life. The site has become a much-loved feature of the hospital, being used by patients, staff, schools and the local community. Trees have also been planed at the Hospital of St Cross, Rugby.
University Hospital Coventry was used as a case study in the recent film made about the NHS Forest. Watch it on you YouTube.
NHS Sustainability Days 2014 and 2015
In 2014, the Trust took part in the NHS Forest's 2 trees at 2 o'clock (2@2) event by planting trees in Jubilee Reserve, while an event took place in the hospital's main reception area on sustainable travel, energy saving and waste. For NHS Sustainability Day 2015, the hospital again took part in 2@2 tree planting with their partner school Walsgrave Church of England Primary School, the two trees were planted with great enthusiasm by the schools Eco-Team, boys planted an Oak whilst the girls planted a Maple.
Nature Reserve Sculptures
The art pieces for the nature reserve have arrived produced by sculptor Alan Ross, the metal screen (pictured above) was based on designs submitted by two local schools, Pearl Hyde Primary School and Foxford secondary school, in Coventry and includes much-loved local icon Lady Godiva.
New signage around Jubilee Reserve
New signs for helping people to find the Reserve are now in place.
Outer Space website
We would like to thank the Big Lottery for funding the Outer Space project. This has enabled many of the changes at the Coventry site over the past year.