Broomfield Hospital’s Open Gardens has been hailed a success as the public were given guided tours of the grounds for the very first time.
In beautiful warm weather, the day began with a ceremony to reopen the sunken gardens outside Broomfield Court. The gardens have been magnificently restored and now feature a brilliant eco-friendly sculpture made by volunteer Richard Neale.
Richard and Mid and South Essex University Hospitals Group’s director of specialist services, John Henry, were on hand to cut the ribbons, before the public were shown round the picturesque surroundings by MEHT’s David Jackson and Richard Hughes.
The groups were taken to where bats are roosting on site, wandered through the 18th century Pudding Wood and given access to our two specially designed gardens for dementia patients.
At the conclusion of the tours, everyone headed back to the Medical Academic Unit where there were displays from local wildlife groups and refreshments provided by the Friends at Broomfield.
Event organiser David Jackson, sustainability project coordinator for Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust, said: “It was a very successful day. We had lots of people who were interested and the turn-out was very good. I’d like to say thank you to all the local groups who exhibited today – the Essex Birdwatchers’ Society, the RSPB, the Essex Badger Group, and the Essex Bat Group. They’ve all given us advice and will continue to help us monitor the wildlife on our site, which is fantastic.
“Massive thanks should also go to Richard Neale. He was a volunteer from Chelmsford 41 Club who helped construct the metalwork, seating and made the amazing sculpture. He put in a lot of hours to help get the sunken garden to where it is. It looks absolutely amazing. I’d also like to thank John Henry for his support and for helping to launch the garden.
“The work Richard Hughes and the grounds and gardens team, and our volunteers have done has all be worthwhile because everyone enjoyed it and patients, staff and visitors will enjoy the benefits for years to come. We’re definitely planning on opening the gardens up again next year.”