NHS Forest conference and awards
The NHS Forest’s annual conference was established in autumn 2011 as a space to share ideas, experiences and questions about the links between green space and health. It brings together participants from all the areas that the NHS Forest touches: GPs, occupational therapists, green prescribing link workers, community gardeners, academics, nature and wellbeing practitioners, conservationists, and more.
Each year, the conference is held at a different healthcare site and provides an opportunity to tour the green space projects at that site. Keynote speakers have included representatives from organisations which support the NHS Forest, including The Great Outdoor Gym Company, Incredible Edible and The Conservation Volunteers. There are also hospital head gardeners, landscape architects, speakers from Public Health England, researchers, and both clinical and non-clinical NHS staff, from anaesthetists to Corporate Social Responsibility managers.
The event typically includes a workshop, where delegates from a wide range of backgrounds can discuss what the best kind of green space might be for their site, how to engage the local community or healthcare staff with this space, and learn from others who have carried out similar projects. It’s a fantastic way to network, to get ideas on how to fund these initiatives, and on the wide range of partner organisations that can help hospitals realise their green space ambitions.
Read more about each of our NHS Forest conferences:
NHS Forest conference 2021, online: ‘An equitable recovery for people and nature‘
NHS Forest conference 2019, Liverpool: ‘Anchor institutions and their role in engaging communities in green space‘
NHS Forest conference 2018, Bristol: ‘Workplace wellbeing and the role of green space‘
NHS Forest conference 2015, Birmingham
NHS Forest conference 2014, Whittingham, Lancashire: ‘Creating healing environments‘
NHS Forest conference 2013, CleanMed, Oxford
NHS Forest conference 2012, Todmorden
NHS Forest conference 2011, Coventry
NHS Forest Awards
The NHS Forest Awards are presented at the conference. Previous award categories have included ‘Most trees planted for the NHS Forest’, ‘Most innovative NHS Forest site’, ‘Best community engagement in the NHS Forest’ ‘Outstanding contribution to the NHS Forest’ and ‘Most pioneering use of green space by a healthcare professional’. Anyone can nominate an NHS Forest site for an award – it can be your own site, or another one that you are familiar with.
Nominations open each summer – watch this space.