Earlier this year, we were delighted to be able to be a part of the NHS Forest initiative, a programme run by the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, an independent UK charity, who are working to transform the green spaces of healthcare sites across the UK.
The initiative hopes to achieve tranquil, biodiverse and sustainable natural areas within the grounds of individual healthcare trust sites by creating peaceful gardens for staff and patients, woodlands and native wildflower meadows, allotments and orchards, nature-based play, outdoor rehabilitation areas and green health routes to link GP surgeries to green spaces.
As part of this initiative, which began in 2009, over 100,000 trees have already been planted with over 330 healthcare sites already involved and with hopes to encourage more sites to sign up and continue growing these green and environmentally beneficial sites.
During our bare root season, we supplied thousands of British grown native trees to the NHS Forest network. These were delivered to various healthcare sites across the country and included species such as Alder, Hawthorn, Birch, Bird Cherry and Crab apple to name a few.
As part of our own sustainable practices here at Perfect For Plants Nursery, we aim to only supply UK grown bare root trees and hedging plants with the vast majority grown ourselves here in Lancashire. We also use British wholesale nurseries to supplement our own production, ensuring all the bare root trees we supply are UK provenance.
Using British grown trees cuts down on the environmental impact of importing plants from overseas, minimises the risks of disease transference from overseas plants and enables us to contribute to the growth of native trees being planted in initiatives such as these. The NHS Forest initiative aims to create woodlands, orchards and hedgerows which in turn creates vital habitats for many at-risk wildlife species. Not only is this beneficial to UK wildlife but a growing body of evidence points to the benefits of access to green space for our own mental and physical health. It is estimated that £2.1 billion could be saved every year in treatment costs (source from the Centre of Sustainable Healthcare) if everyone had access to good quality green spaces. We are therefore proud to be contributing to this initiative and hope to continue providing the plants needed to support these projects in the future.