08/03/2024 | Press releases

Gardener’s World presenter designs new wellbeing garden for Colchester Hospital

A new wellbeing garden is being built for patients, visitors and staff at Colchester Hospital.

It is hoped the garden will provide a more welcoming and calming walk into the Turner Road site which is flanked by the main visitor car parks and existing lake.

It will also be a space where patients, visitors and staff alike can take time out to pause and reflect whether they are attending an appointment, visiting a relative or taking a break.

A temporary, accessible diversion route will be put in place for pedestrians from the main car park and payment machines to the front door of the hospital for a period of up to ten weeks as the existing footpath will be affected by the work, which starts on Wednesday 13 March.

This means patients, visitors and staff may need to allow a little extra time to get to their appointments and departments.

An artist's impression of how the wellbeing garden will look.

An artist’s impression of how the wellbeing garden will look.

All hospital services remain open and our volunteers will be on hand for anyone who needs help to find their way.

The Cancer Wellbeing Centre will also remain open and alternative access will be signposted.

We apologise for inconvenience caused by the temporary closure of the garden space and usual footpaths.

Creating a quiet, interesting and welcoming space

Designed by Gardeners’ World presenter Adam Frost, the garden is due to open in mid-May. It will include curved paths, wildflowers, rock gardens and areas for private reflection.

It will also be a place where people can learn gardening skills, get involved in taking care of it, or visit to take a break and relax.

Hospital staff and Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals Charity have worked with the RHS on the look and feel of the garden. At its heart will be sustainability and accessibility.

Other key elements of the garden design include:

  • Sociable seating areas and more private seating areas to connect or reflect
  • An all-weather shelter for nature-based activities and gardening club sessions
  • New paths weaving through trees, wildflowers and drought-tolerant planting
  • New plants alongside the car park to reduce noise and pollution
  • Access for all, inclusive and welcoming for whole community.

The garden will contribute to the NHS ‘Net Zero’ strategy, which aims to tackle climate change. The RHS Wellbeing Gardens programme supports the NHS strategic shift towards social prescribing.

Gardeners’ World presenter Adam, has put together a short video explaining how the garden will look. Watch it by clicking the link below.

Colchester Wellbeing Garden (youtube.com)


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