LATEST NEWS: The Land Trust, a national charity dedicated to looking after open spaces for public benefit, has taken over management of the country park next to the Countess of Chester Hospital. One of its charitable objectives is to help improve the health of local communities near its sites by offering spaces to run, walk and play as well as more formal exercise and health activities such as thai chi, Nordic walking and fun fit mums. In collaboration with various organisations, it has pooled land (one third of which belongs to the NHS Forest) and has tarmaced over two miles of pathways wide enough for walkers, cyclists and wheelchair users to share. The new paths connect the park to local footpaths and the Shropshire Unio Canal towpath, providing local residents, as well as hospital staff, patients and visitors, with more opportunities to explore the area and be more active. Find out more in the Land Trust's press release. Meanwhile an official opening of the park will take place on 12th September.
The Countess of Chester Country Park has been developed on the former Countess of Chester Hospital. The park joined the NHS Forest in 2011 when tree planting took place involving staff from Western Cheshire NHS and the Countess of Chester NHS Foundation Trust.
EXCEPRTS FROM PRESS RELEASE- WESTERN CHESHIRE NHS
Funding for more than 2,500 trees and shrubs has been secured from NHS Western Cheshire, The Woodland Trust’s MOREwoods project and the national Big Tree Plant campaign as part of The Mersey Forest initiative.
Country Park Project Manager, Helen Rawlinson, said: "This is a great boost to the proposal to create a new country park for Chester, adjacent to the Countess of Chester Health Park and provides the opportunity for the community to take part in the first of what we hope will become a host of outdoor events and activities."
BTCV has been running its first Green Gym taster sessions for local people, in partnership with landowners Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Western Cheshire, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trustand the Homes and Communities Agency, plus project partners Cheshire West and Chester Council, the Chester Area Partnership Board,Groundwork Cheshire and The Mersey Forest.
Upton councillors, Hilarie McNae and Jill Houlbrook, said: "We wholeheartedly support this project which has great potential to provide far-reaching benefits and positive activities, such as the Green Gym. There is a huge amount of goodwill associated with this project, from the project partners and landowners to local residents and the people of Chester, as demonstrated by the wonderful response to the recent consultation."
John Church, Chairman of NHS Western Cheshire which provided some of the funding for the trees, said: "This is an excellent project and each of the three NHS Trusts on the Health Park are very supportive partners. It is also wonderful to be part of the national "NHS Forest" campaign which aims plant 1.3 million trees - one tree for every member of NHS staff in the UK. Working together with the NHS Trusts and the local community we are well on our way to planting around 4,500 trees which is the number of staff we have at the Health Park."
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35 trees were planted in 2013 sponsored by Capita CMS.
Tree Planting at Chester country Park update
The Environment Team would like to thank all those who took part in planting all 175 tree whips on NHS sustainability Day 27th March that had been donated to CWP by NHS Forest and OxTreeGen.
The native, cherry, willow and hazel tree whips were planted on Thursday 27th March at 2 pm in an area behind Bowmere designated by the Land Trust Managers of the Countess of Chester Country Park.
CWP Estates Gardens Maintenance manager Paul Banks and CWP environment team Helen Kelly and Jeannie Metcalfe-Hall, were delighted with the response shown by the many volunteers and staff to the NHS Forest initiative and this year’s NHS Sustainability Day by taking part in the 2@2 tree planting project.
Over 35 staff service users, visitors and volunteers turned out on the sunny afternoon last Thursday at 2pm to plant trees either in the name of their team or a tree of personal significance to themselves in memory of a loved one. Everyone who attended will receive a certificate in due course with the name of the tree and location so they can visit and see the progress of growth.
We also had a surprise visit from our own Environment Project Manager Tom Parry and his wife Jodie with their new baby son Jacob who planted several trees between them ! In addition we had the family of Paul Banks join us to plant as well and a new baby grandaughter was born to Paul’s daughter whilst we were planting at the Countess! So a very eventful and rewarding day for everyone who attended and helped out.