LOCKDOWN RESPITE: Gartnavel green spaces are just what the doctor ordered 

By Lucy Ashton

Monty Don and Alan Titchmarsh don’t have a look-in.

Gartnavel General Hospital at Anniesland has looked after thousands of patients during COVID-19. However, outside, the campus has supported countless more thanks to its vast green spaces which have been used by patients, staff and the public on a daily basis as a source of well-being.

It’s estimated that since the lockdown was introduced in March 2020, footfall to the hospital grounds increased by around 500% as people flocked to the well-kept grounds in search of respite during lockdown.

Since then, the grounds team has gladly worked to maintain the wider grounds while the mental health services garden volunteers of the ‘Art in Gart’ group continued to create and offer new spaces for outdoor activity and social interaction.

From additional signage, new benches, flower beds, walking routes and pathways, the grounds at the hospital have provided a welcome escape for thousands of people. In total, the grounds offer more than 2km of paths, 6 separate gardens including two wildflower spaces – all over 66 acres in total.

Whether used for exercise, to meet with friends and loved ones safely or simply as a space for staff and patients to relax outside of the main hospital, the Gartnavel grounds have provided a mental-wellbeing boost for thousands of people over the past two years.

Rosie Cherry, head of facilities management at Gartnavel General, said:  “The Gartnavel campus is a wonderful place to be based on and the grounds are beloved by many. During lockdown, there really wasn’t a huge amount of options for people to get out and socialise but our parks and green spaces provided that and Gartnavel was a huge draw. We’re delighted that so many people recognise the benefits such grounds bring, and that estates and volunteers have been able to continue enhancing the space for people to enjoy.”

Frances McLinden, director for the South Sector, which includes Gartnavel Acute services, said: “I think everyone has seen the true value in green spaces during the pandemic, and it’s a privilege to be able to work in an environment like the one at Gartnavel. 

“Making the most of our green spaces is a key priority across all our sites and my thanks goes to out to all of our estates team and volunteers who’ve helped create the beautiful grounds around the hospital which we can look to for inspiration for our other sites. We saw the benefits of multifunctional greenspace on our site during COP26 when Gartnavel General hosted an interactive art installation, which saw over 1000 visitors.”

One comment

  1. I don’t understand why more consideration isn’t given in places like Glasgow to
    “green” road and motorway verges.

    Maximising carefully designed, low maintenance public areas can add so much to our environment.

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