Sep 6, 2013

Ryhope Horticulture Therapy Unit serving the Community

Hopewood Park Pathway

Set on the outskirts of Sunderland, the new mental health facility at Ryhope will redefine the facility’s relationship within its green valley landscape and wider community. As part of the redevelopment the Horticulture Therapy Unit will be re-positioned to take centre stage besides the site entrance. The existing and successful therapeutic unit has flourished over the past ten years, outgrowing its current location and providing beneficial mental and physical well-being to patients through the interaction and overall care of plants in a green and calming environment. The design of the new unit is being developed with patients, creating a sense of achievement in the overall improvement to the site entrance.  With an understanding of the local context of the area our Landscape Architect, Thomas Steven has worked closely with the Northumblerland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust to produce a masterplan which contains the necessities of greenhouses, cold frames, polytunnels, effective composting space, a new plant sales area and a demonstration garden. The nursery encourages patients to adopt key skills in market gardening, whilst integrating them with members of the public through the sale of their produce. The development of the pro bona Horticultural Therapy Unit is creating a stir with the design team lending their skills to create an inspiring and successful project – even the contractors have taken to collecting parking fees from staff to help with funding!