Meadows Health and Wellbeing Route, Cardiff
Plantlife’s Cass Crocker, who was involved in setting up the Meadows Health and Wellbeing Routes in Bangor and Cardiff, spoke about Magnificent Meadows at our 2022 NHS Forest conference. You can read more and watch a recording of the event here.
The Meadows Health and Wellbeing Route in Cardiff, Wales is part of Magnificent Meadows Cymru, a programme funded by the Welsh Government that is working to restore over 500 hectares of wildflower meadows and grassland in Wales while connecting communities to these environments for their own health and wellbeing.
Developed with our partner Plantlife, the project has created two walking routes connecting the University Hospital of Wales to the meadows at Heath Park. During all seasons, a walk through the meadows provides an array of colours, smells and sounds. This is a great opportunity for using nature as part of the care of patients while also benefitting the health and wellbeing of health staff.
The route is being promoted through interpretation panels placed near the hospital and at Heath Park, which provide information on biodiversity, and a map featuring the two meadow routes plus a third ‘Explorer’ route that was created by Cardiff Council.
Signs have been installed in the meadows of Heath Park, with information on meadow creation and links to Plantlife’s Meadows’ Hub which includes myriad additional resources.
Plantlife’s digital StoryMap, below, enables anyone to explore the Heath Park Meadows Health and Wellbeing Route. This online resource provides a virtual walk through one of the routes, enabling hospital patients who are unable to visit the site in person can get to know the green space, learn about its wildlife, view uplifting photos of the site and hear meadow soundscapes and birdsong. The StoryMap is also being used to introduce staff to Heath Park, with the intention of making it easier for them to walk the route for their own health and wellbeing.
The StoryMap is also available in in Welsh.
The Meadows Health and Wellbeing project worked with Beth Morris Workshops to help bring the Heath Park meadows inside the hospital. Local children created impressive stitched meadow artwork which is being displayed in the hospital’s main corridor, showcasing the colours and beauty of the meadow landscape.