The grounds maintenance team have got into the spirit of the 75th birthday of the NHS with blue and white flower beds at the entrance to Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
It was one of the projects seen by North West in Bloom judges, led by chair Bernard Pendleton. Last year, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals received a Gold Certificate in the competition which is run by the Royal Horticultural Society.
Grounds Maintenance Manager Ben Simpson from our estates and facilities partners Atlas told the judges about the latest plans and projects to make the hospital grounds greener and more sustainable.
Some areas underwent “no mow May” and that period has been extended while others are designated a “no-spray” where alternatives to chemicals, such as using peppermint and vinegar, are explored.
Ben said: “No mow areas help insects and pollinators thrive and are nicer than just grass. You can see one such area in front of the Outpatients department. There are also some wildflowers in bloom.”
He has also created a bug hotel and an old BT phone kiosk has been repurposed as a butterfly house.
More than 100 whip trees given by the Woodland Trust are being grown on before planting and the hospital’s trees receive an annual inspection. Using recycled wood, 15 bird boxes and 15 bat boxes are now providing much needed refuge for nature around the grounds.
The Stroke unit has a refurbished garden, funded by Blue Skies Hospital Fund, featuring raised flowerbeds and new paving. There are plans for a pergola and new fencing.
New wooden planters are in bloom near entrances to the Pathology, Outpatients and Cardiac departments, with nearby benches allowing patients and visitors to take a break outdoors in a “greener” area of the site.
There are plans for a nature trail at the rear of the social club as well as space for raised beds to grow our own plants.
And as ever the chaplaincy gardens is a tranquil central place for anyone needing reflection time.