The Hospital Grounds Greenspace (HGG) Project has been investigating best practice in involving people in the design, use, and maintenance of hospital-adjacent greenspace.
Greenspace is defined by Greenspace Scotland as any vegetated land or water within or adjoining an urban area, e.g. disused railway lines, woods, countryside, gardens or parks adjoining a town. There is a growing body of literature that links greenspace use to a number of positive health outcomes including decreased stress and reduced obesity.
The HGG project led to the piloting of activities to get staff, patients and community members using the woodland adjacent to the Forth Valley Royal Hospital (Larbert). It also involved the development of ways of evaluating the impact of these activities.
The project was a collaboration between the University of the Highlands and Islands, NHS Forth Valley, NHS Highland, and the Forestry Commission Scotland. It was funded under the AHRC / SFC Knowledge Exchange Programme, ‘A Healthier Scotland’. The exciting programme consists of six knowledge exchange projects in the field of health and the environment. Collectively and individually the projects contribute strategically to the Scottish Government’s national objective for a Healthier Scotland.