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Project: New Children’s Garden

This page was last updated: July 5th, 2022

A new garden for young hospital patients and their families to enjoy.
The new Play for Life Garden, now know was the Garden of Freedom, has replaced the original children’s garden and play area on the Treliske Hospital site. This garden was removed in 2020 to make way for the construction of the Progressive Recovery Unit.

The new garden is located behind Wheal Prosper Ward and adjacent to the new Impact building (behind the Princess Alexandra Wing). This is a quiet, safe area, away from traffic and yet only a short walk from the maternity and paediatric wards. Innovative and playful signage has been put in place to help patients and their families and carers locate this new space.

Mural showing a forest scene with fox and deer at the Garden of Freedom at the Royal Cornwall Hospital

The new garden, designed by local company Earth Wright Ltd, has been specially created for children and their parents, families, and carers to enjoy during treatment, or whilst visiting, the Royal Cornwall Hospital.

The design has had input from the Trust’s specialist play team, families, and patients, and considers the accessibility and sensory needs of young people. It also provides a wonderful space for exploration and play. Displaying more than 200 plants, shrubs, herbs and trees, the area has begun to fill with natural insect wildlife. A play hut sits at the heart of the garden and allows children of all abilities to become immersed in their imagination as they play.

The children’s garden is also a triumph of local community spirit. Adding to the garden are two community-based projects providing exciting items for the children to find.

Kier Construction worked in partnership with Cornwall College in Camborne, whose students, supported by their tutors, have created a wonderful colour-pencil-themed bench and some stunning objects of interest including bug hotels, metal insects and decorative copper hanging items across the garden area. Kier also worked to clear and prepare parts of the garden for painting.

Cornish fashion company Seasalt have designed and created an enchanted woodland-themed mural on the wall facing into the garden, which brings to life creatures such as stags, foxes, rabbits and owls, alongside secret fairy houses that are situated along a winding path for children to discover.

Other donations were made by SJ Andrews of Redruth who provided materials given to the Cornwall College students; SeeTech, who painted the garden’s large fence panels and beams; Kier (again) for providing panel painting materials, and Gloweth Ltd of Truro for donating all the paint for Seasalt to create the mural.

A fundraising campaign is now underway to add some accessible, specialist play equipment to the space, including a basket swing which can be enjoyed by children.

Anyone wishing to donate to the children’s garden fundraising appeal for play equipment can do so via: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/RCHTChildrensGarden or by scanning the QR code below:
QR code for RCHT Children's Garden Just Giving Page

Hospital staff, and residents in the nearby staff accommodation, will also be able to enjoy the garden when it is not in use by patients and their families and carers.

Ecology

The ecological impact assessment undertaken to support the planning application for the Progressive Recovery Unit requires a net gain in ecological diversity.

The new (Play for Life) will be planted with a variety of evergreens, flowering plants, and shrubs. The garden will also have a number of trees planted, in close proximity to each other, to create a copse effect. Shrub hedging will provide screening for some privacy and will encourage children to play and explore.

A range of perennial plants which are known to thrive in the Cornish climate will provide colour, scent, and texture.

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