Patients and staff at Salisbury District Hospital now have their own wildlife guide (updated for 2022) to take them through the seasons – from winter aconite through cowslips in spring and viper’s bugloss in summer, to evening primrose in autumn.

The guide, written by clinical scientist Dr James Macpherson, celebrates the chalk downland where the hospital is located, which it says is comparable in its diversity to a tropical rainforest. Macpherson writes that chalk grassland plants have readily colonised the verges, courtyards and garden areas of the hospital without any need for special management, and these in turn have attracted many insect species – creating both a nature reserve and wildlife corridor.

Salisbury District Hospital protected area sign
Salisbury District Hospital protected area sign. All rights reserved.
Salisbury District Hospital hospice garden
Salisbury District Hospital hospice garden. All rights reserved.

He argues that many healthcare sites around the country could be managed to provide important habitats while also offering a valued community resource. The guide, published by ArtCare, has been distributed to some wards and staff rest areas, and is now on sale in the Salisbury Hospital League of Friends shop, priced at £3.50 with all proceeds going to the League of Friends charity.

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