First of 1.3 million trees are planted in NHS forest

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 06 October 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4115
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

    Every employee in the NHS is to have a sapling planted on their behalf as part of a plan to create wooded areas with a total size of 2500 football pitches on NHS sites across the United Kingdom.

    Dubbed the “Natural Health Service,” the forest project will see trees, bushes, and flowers planted on every NHS campus, with the aim of improving access to green space for staff, patients, and the local community.

    The NHS is one of the biggest resource users and generators of greenhouse gases in the UK. When the forest starts to reach maturity in 20 years’ time, it will reduce the NHS’s carbon footprint by 10%, says the Campaign for Greener Healthcare, which is working with the Forestry Commission, the Woodland Trust, Natural England, and others to develop the NHS forest.

    The first tree in the forest was donated by the children of Mount Pleasant Primary School in the Wirral to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool on 6 October. Alder Hey is working closely with the Forestry Commission to create a new £288m (€310m; $460m) hospital surrounded by parkland and play areas in what will become Europe’s first children’s health park.

    A tree sponsorship scheme will be set up so that patients, relatives, and staff can buy a tree to thank staff for their care, commemorate a loved one or a retirement, or celebrate a birth.


    Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4115

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