Wildflowers meadows set to bloom at Amersham Hospital

Date: 07/11/2023 | Category: News 2023

As part of the NHS commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and supporting biodiversity and because we know that nature is excellent for people’s health, Amersham Hospital is restoring its lawns to native wildflower meadows.

Wildflower meadows are areas of grassland which are left to grow long in spring and summer and were traditionally mown for hay to feed animals in the winter. Such meadows provide an ideal habitat for wildflowers, giving them time to flower and set seed. Wildflower meadows also provide shelter and food for a wide range of insects, mammals and birds. Healthy wildflower meadows can store up to 30 tons of carbon per hectare. We also know that looking at nature, and wildflower meadows, is good for people’s mental and physical health.

The lawns at Amersham Hospital will be encouraged to grow back into wildflower meadows, for plants, insects, mammals and birds, and for patients, visitors and our staff to enjoy. Over the coming year you will see volunteers from the hospital, from Wild Amersham and from Barnet Waddingham looking after the meadow. They might be raking, scything, removing the hay, litter picking or monitoring for wildflowers.

Marieke Bosman a representative of Wild Amersham and a volunteer gardener at the hospital said: “Unfortunately, 97% of meadows in the UK have disappeared. Amersham Hospital’s lawns are located on chalk and chalk soil wildflower meadows are even richer than other meadows – they are sometimes called ‘the rainforest of Europe’ and can hold up to 40 plant species per square metre. Many very rare species of insect and butterfly depend on chalk wildflower meadows. Chalk wildflower meadows are now very rare indeed which is why we’re incredibly excited about this initiative at Amersham Hospital.”

Please help us look after the meadows. If you are interested in volunteering, please view the current volunteering opportunities on our website or contact our recruitment team via bht.recruitment@nhs.net and ask about volunteering.

Group of gardening volunteers at Amersham Hospital