CHESTNUT TREE HOUSE

When children’s Hospice Chestnut Tree House was gifted an acre of birch and oak trees.We were invited by Greenfingers Charity (a children’s charity who fundraise to build therapeutic gardens for children’s hospices) to maximise the opportunity of the space.

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Greenfingers Garden: A Healing Outdoor Space for Life-Limited Children

Undeniably, the practicalities of this kind of garden were undoubtedly a struggle. Specifically, a tight budget and the need for little or no maintenance; significantly rigorous health and safety measures, and no steps or steep changes of level. It forced us to think laterally. Children within the hospice have to live and play differently. They spend their whole lives watching their siblings doing things they can’t do themselves. Therefore we developed a design that would work for all of the children. Regardless of that fact that they be in wheelchairs, beds or visually impaired.

The new hospice garden is an outdoor space where children with short lives can become nature’s superheroes. Where they can go travelling through arches to a whole new world where they can experience nature up close, through touch, sound or sight.

Nevertheless, it was an honour to work on this life affirming project. Alongside working with the wonderful children’s charity Greenfingers, which is a national charity dedicated to supporting life-limited children. They also support those children who spend time in hospices around the UK, along with their families. Specifically by creating inspiring gardens for them to relax in and benefit from.

Awards

Society of Garden Designers Award Winner – Healing or Learning Garden 2017

Client Quote

One mother wrote: “I feel very excited about this project. To be able to enter woodlands on a safe pathway and sense the sounds and smells, which for my daughter will be for the first time in her life, will be a truly life-changing experience. I cannot wait to see the smile on her face when she can see and touch and feel the things that most of us take for granted every day.” As a mother of two boys, I was completely hooked.

The Woodland Walk is loved by all our children, families and staff. It’s such a wonderful space – perfect for adventures, bug-hunts, story time, walks or just relaxing. Thank you!