Going green at Swandean

7 May 2021

As part of our initiative to create a sustainable environment and support the wellbeing of people using our sites we have recently planted 80 trees on our Swandean site. With a hospital based here, community teams and our corporate headquarters we look forward to service users, families, carers and staff enjoying the trees as they grow. 

At Sussex Partnership we have adopted the Care Without Carbon approach developed by Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust. This approach has been shown to help reduce costs, support health and wellbeing and reduce the Trust’s carbon footprint. The Care Without Carbon team partnered with the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare last year who had been gifted a large quantity of trees for NHS trusts from the eco search engine company, Ecosia. Sussex Partnership were fortunate to benefit from a donation of these trees which have now been planted. Species include wild pear, bird cherry, hazel and elder. Some of these trees will flower to provide variety to the landscape of the site.

We know that spending time in nature with its peaceful greens and earthy tones can help support good mental wellbeing. For service users on our sites there will be a walkway of trees that will take them round the site supporting them to get fresh air and exercise but also to take in the beauty of the trees. There will be a small map with information about the trees for people to use and enjoy. Part of this project is to encourage biodiversity and so there are now areas of the Swandean and Meadowfield Hospital site that have been left as ‘wild areas’. This will encourage wildlife to the site, add variety to the look and feel of the environment and create more interesting, relaxing green spaces for service users, families, carers and staff to enjoy. Spending time in nature can reduce stress levels – and that can only be a good thing!

As if the team weren’t busy enough, they’ve also sourced some lavender and rosemary plants to plant under the windows on the ground floor of Meadowfield Hospital. These scented plants will boost people when they are in their rooms with the windows open and look attractive and calming when people are walking around the site. 

The newly planted trees will also serve a practical function to create shaded areas for outdoor meetings and, as they grow, provide shade to buildings which can become especially hot in the summer months. With people returning to workplaces and the promise of warmer days to come, outdoor meetings could become the norm. Outdoor meeting spaces provide a physical break from the office environment to enable people to think clearly, take stock and really focus on the project or task at hand without the distraction of the office.