Alder Hey hospital joined the NHS Forest in 2009 and hosted the launch ceremony of our national green space programme. It is a major children’s hospital and foundation trust in Liverpool.
Alder Hey in the Park: Interactive Woodland Walk
Alder Hey opened in 2015, and is the first paediatric hospital in Europe to be built in a park. The park continues to be established and is to be completed by 2022. This inclusive green space includes a woodland walk – an area with a rich biodiversity, including heritage species, which welcomes weekly Forest School activities. Learn more about its green space plans in this document.
The hospital has also introduced an interactive trail that is free to enter, safe, accessible to people with mobility issues, disabilities and visual impairments and incorporates informative interpretation and aspects of natural play. Alder Hey hopes to encourage excluded and hard-to-reach groups to engage with and enjoy the natural environment around them, to promote their health, wellbeing and lifelong learning. Installations include meditation stools, yoga sculptures, bird feeding boxes and herb and scent boxes. The area will also be landscaped with multisensory plants and edibles, supporting our ‘Grown Your Own’ objectives. The woodland walk installations were installed by local designer Andrew Small.
Local primary schools use the forest school in Springfield Park on a regular basis. For example, a group of Year 5 children spent an afternoon planting 300 bulbs in the park, and a Grow Wellbeing Family Forest Day enabled local families to engage with natural learning and play. Activities included shelter making, tree weaving and toasting apples and marshmallows on the campfire! The park’s events schedule includes community litter picks, a Springfield Watch photography competition and a weekly Nature Tots Club in the woodland.
Alder Hey is developing a new public park next to the hospital site. Some of the work is already complete – the project should be finalised with the Eaton Road landscaping project by the end of 2022. 84 trees of various species have already been planted.