The grounds and gardens team at Hopewood Park have had a real focus on getting the site into top shape over the past year. Not only is it looking great for patients, staff and visitors but there’s been a boost to biodiversity too. The teams have worked to improve the borders and beds with 2,000 shrubs being planted with a focus on plants that not only look good for people on site but that are attractive to pollinators too.
In addition over 80 tonnes of bark has been added to the beds and borders. This has multiple benefits including allowing the soil to retain water, reducing the need to use this precious resource on plants. It also reduces the amount of weeds coming through which eliminates the need for any chemical weed controls. Where possible bark has been used from trees which have been cut down elsewhere on our sites, although trees are never cut down unless necessary of course.
Various areas on site were left for No Mow May and this resulted in six species of wildflower growing through where it would previously have been cut back. Those areas have been cut back ready for next year, as it is a bit of a myth that wild spaces are ones that are just left. They need to be managed to avoid them being dominated by one species or another.
One area on site has been left totally wild and hasn’t been cut since May but that is a potential site to work with the NHS forest team to be planted with trees in the future. There is lots happening on site with more to come, including looking at electric lawn mowers and strimmer’s, to reduce noise but also to cut down on emissions.
All these changes have been masterminded in the Estates office at Hopewood Park which itself has a green roof to minimise rainwater run off. These changes not only help support better care by delivering quality grounds and gardens for patients, staff and visitors, but also serve to reduce our impact on the environment.