Spinney Meadow provides green space for patients at the Wells Road Centre. In 2022, the site planted 151 trees for the NHS Forest. Wells Road offers a number of occupational therapy activities including horticulture, construction skills, animal care and woodland management.
Robin Baxter, Horticultural Technical Advisor, describes the project:
“Of the 150 trees we ordered the bulk were used to create a new wildlife hedge at the top of the site, flanking one of our wildflower areas. Seven species, comprising hawthorn, hazel, blackthorn, buckthorn, beech, dogwood, and hornbeam, were used to create a mixed double row of plants 22 meters in length, with a total of 120 plants. This area of ground was previously grass; the turf was removed and the ground dug over prior to planting. The area was selected by one of the patients after digging test holes around the site and finding these other areas unsuitable due to large amounts of builders’ rubble just below the surface.
The remaining trees were planted in the woodland area to increase the diversity of the existing species. The woodland originally comprised of around 10 species of trees; this has now almost doubled to 18 species with the new plantings. We have worked with a group of around six patients and have enjoyed seeing the trees just starting to come into leaf as winter turns to spring.”
In 2023, a further 91 trees were donated by the NHS Forest to the Centre.