Staff and patients at Harefield Hospital are planting 420 trees in the hospital’s grounds, to help make the hospital a greener and more sustainable place, thanks to a generous donation from the Woodland Trust.
The Woodland Trust is donating tree saplings to a range of community groups including schools and healthcare organisations across the country in a bid to get millions more trees in the ground. Harefield Hospital received six different types of tree to plant in the green spaces around the hospital – silver birch, rowan, dogwood, hawthorn, hazel and wild cherry.
Planting trees is a key initiative to come out of the Trust’s Green Plan which encourages staff, patients and members of the local community to become ‘Green Champions' by reducing carbon footprints with nature-based solutions and to help influence positive, sustainable change at the Trust.
Nicholas Hunt, executive director for Harefield Hospital, who was one of the first to plant a tree, said: “This is a brilliant project that has given staff and patients the opportunity to plant a tree and help the hospital become a greener, more sustainable place. Everyone at Harefield will be able to watch the trees grow, enjoy improved air quality and the chance to relax outside. Harefield Hospital has a long history of patients spending time outdoors for their rehabilitation, so these trees will add to that legacy.”
Karen Janody, interim head of the Trust’s Arts Programme, who organised the tree-planting, added: “We hope to improve and enhance the biodiversity at Harefield, as well as give staff and patients spaces to enjoy outdoors. Gardens and nature have physical and mental health benefits, and we want to get as many people involved as possible.”
Derval Russell, Harefield Hospital director, who planted a wild cherry tree, said: “We are lucky to have such beautiful grounds at Harefield and with the addition these trees, they are going to look even better. I would like to thank Karen and the team for organising this event and I hope staff enjoy planting the trees.”
During the launch on 23 November, staff and patient volunteers enjoyed getting their hands dirty for a good cause. Ciara Collins, critical care matron, who planted a silver birch, said: “It’s really nice to be part of this wonderful project. We have a lot of inpatients at Harefield who are here for a long time and this is their second home and their garden. I think it’ll have a really positive impact to their physical and mental wellbeing.”
Husband and wife, Peter and Celia (an outpatient at Harefield), who planted a trio of hawthorns, said: “We feel like royalty planting trees on hospital grounds, it’s very special. It’s an honour to be involved and we’ll be back to check on their progress.”
Find out more about Arts projects here.
Find out more about Woodland Trust here.