Haven will blossom in grounds of hospital

A project created by a Hebden Bridge-based social enterprise hopes to harness the healing power of plants with new outdoor spaces at Calderdale Royal Hospital.

The hospital will become one of the first in the UK to create an orchard, also known as a food forest, in its grounds.There will be a combination of fruit trees with other edible or useful plant species, to create a multi-layered woodland garden.

Trees, fruit bushes and herbs will attract birds and insects to provide a stress-busting space, plus a source of healthy food and medicinal plants.

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Trees for Wellbeing, delivered by social enterprise Rooting and Fruiting, will create three gardens at the hospital, aided by funding from TD Bank and support from the Community Forest Trust, Food for Life and Incredible Aquagarden.

Patients, staff and the community are invited to help design, plant and maintain the gardens, and to benefit from using them.

Beth Morgan, founder and director of Trees for Wellbeing, said: “Trees for Wellbeing is about celebrating urban forestry and supporting health, recovery and wellbeing through our connection to trees and plants. We often walk past trees, oblivious to the huge benefits they have for our towns and cities. Not only can they provide food and a sense of belonging, but they also reduce costs to roads by shading them from sun damage and they support flood alleviation.”

Planting for the first garden will begin on February 28 and will be marked with an event open to staff, volunteers and people involved in health and wellbeing work across Calderdale. The site will feature apple trees, fruit bushes, beds dedicated to plants for herbal teas and more. To find out more or to get involved contact Beth Morgan via [email protected]