As part of the initiative, 2,650 fruiting trees were planted – whose produce will help supply the hospital kitchen and community, as well as feed wildlife. The project by the Airedale NHS Foundation Trust was made possible by collaboration with Trees for Cities.
NHS Forest is a venture co-ordinated by the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, with the aim of encouraging greater social cohesion between NHS sites and communities. At the awards ceremony – held virtually – the scheme was praised for its orchard trees, chosen specifically to benefit the flora and fauna around the hospital grounds.
Steve Marshall, head gardener with Airedale NHS Foundation Trust and the project lead, said: ‘Winning the NHS Forest Award is an amazing achievement for us all. It just shows that big things can be achieved when the trust comes together. This kind of achievement is only possible because of all the effort that was put into the project.’
Victoria Pickles, director of corporate affairs at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: ‘We are very lucky at Airedale to have some beautiful green space and hills around us. You can really see the positive effects on people who come and take a moment, however brief, to relax in our greener spaces.’