RIE staff wellbeing courtyard

NHS Lothian @ Edinburgh BioQuarter

Find out about the about green health opportunities across the BioQuarter

The BioQuarter is home to the the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Royal Hospital for Children and Young People and the Department of Clinical Neurosciences (DCN). This 167-acre site is connected to some of the best greenspaces in Edinburgh.

Across these three hospitals, NHS Lothian provides a full range of acute medical and surgical services, over three thousand NHS staff work onsite and support patients from across Lothian and beyond, this makes it one of the most important healthcare settings in Scotland.

Working together with staff and partners on site we are delivering range of Green Health projects to improve health and wellbeing and increase biodiversity.

Ria’s story

At just 23-years-old, Ria O’Hanlan found herself in hospital fighting for her life. The occupational therapy student went from experiencing back pain, to collapsing on the floor and being diagnosed with an aortic aneurism, her lungs filled with blood. The game-changer came with a visit to the hospital garden, at the insistence of one of the nurses.

RIE Panda Courtyard bunting

What’s happening on site

We are delighted to be working working with Hinterland Studios on three exciting Green Health projects to create relaxing and functional areas on the hospital site.

proposed design for the panda courtyardFollowing a series of consultation events with staff, we are progressing work on the staff wellbeing courtyard.

The Staff Courtyard at OPD6 will be focused on Staff Wellbeing at Work, providing private and relaxing spaces surrounded in lovely greenery.

proposed design for staff courtyardThe Panda Courtyard will continue to focus on patient activities such as gardening and low impact movement with the surrounding gardening to stimulate the senses. We have completed design options for enhancements of the Panda Courtyard and are working with teams on site to look at how these can be implemented.

example of planting by HinterlandWork is commencing on designs for how we can enhance this peaceful space at the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People.

Explore the green spaces round the BioQuarter

Royal Infirmary Edinburghfrom the air
An aerial view of the Edinburgh BioQuarter

Little France Park is located to the east of the Royal Infirmary, and is most easily accessed from the hospital at an entrance which starts at the top of Car Park 2C. You can also access it by walking from the hospital main entrance to Old Dalkeith Road and walking along the road until you see a small bridge on the left. See the map of the site below:

It has a variety of habitats to explore, such as woodland, wetland, grassland and wildflower meadows which supports an array of wildlife such as butterflies, birds and bees.

There are wide hard surfaced paths in the park (paths marked in purple on the map), making it easy to access. In the above Little France Park map there are suggested walking routes. There are also benches, providing places to rest, relax and enjoy the views.

Although the north side of the slope is more easily accessed from the hospital, we would highly recommend visiting the south side if you have time as it offers spectacular views of the sea, Edinburgh Castle, Craigmillar Castle and Arthur’s Seat.

There are interpretation panels which provide a map of the site as well as interesting information on its history and wildlife.

You can find more detailed information on the map here: www.innertubemap.com/little-france/

There are also Little France Park Cycleways Innertube Maps available to pick up at the main reception to the hospital, as well as at the BioQuarter (5 Little France Drive, Edinburgh, EH16 4UU).

Discover walking routes from the hospital with the Go Jauntly

Find new walking tours based on your location. Simple photo guides help you navigate while nifty tips point out things of interest. Sign up to walking challenges or enjoy green routes from A to B or circular walking routes. Take pictures, add details that other people may find useful and share with the growing community.

4 people walking along a path holding tea mugs