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June 6, 2024

Transforming Woodland House Courtyard

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Unlocking the potential of outdoor spaces is important for fostering wellbeing in healthcare environments.

What began as an application to our Climate Challenge Grants from NHS staff has turned into a collaborative effort to design a space that prioritises privacy, relaxation and wellbeing.

The Woodland House Courtyard was previously underutilised due to its exposure to multiple departments’ windows, making it a challenge for patients and staff to feel comfortable using the area.

One staff member noted, “We have found it difficult to let patients use the space because of noise and lack of privacy, so it feels like a shame that we don’t use it more.”

Before the project began, garden designers were appointed to guide the project. Kristyna Barko from Reconnect Garden Design explained. “It is important to include the staff and people who will be the end users of the space in the design process. After creating the initial designs, we had sessions with the staff, explained what we were trying to achieve, and asked them what they wanted and needed.”

Through consultation and collaboration with staff a design was finalised that would meet the needs of the staff, patients and their loved ones that would use the garden.

With the help of Edinburgh Tool Library, existing furniture was upcycled, and new benches were put in to increase seating within the garden. Mature trees were planted creating natural sound barriers and visual screens as well as providing much-needed shade.

These improvements have created a more welcoming atmosphere and promoted overall wellbeing. Not only that but being surrounded by greenery and fresh air can significantly boost mental and physical health. The enhanced courtyard now provides a space where everyone can experience the benefits of nature regardless of the season.

Find out more about the great things that are happening across our Green Health programme

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