A new Green Health Walk is now open on Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust’s (GMMH) Prestwich site. The Green Health Walk, constructed by Sow the City, is a marked route for staff, visitors and service users to enjoy the grounds, and promote physical and mental benefits of greenspace and exercise.
The Green Health Walk comprises of a 20 minute route through the grounds with seven different areas of interest to visit. These areas of interest include a heritage orchard, an allotment, a herb bed, a natural sculpture, habitat boxes and native woodland.
There is a growing body of evidence to show that spaces with more greenery and nature translate to lower levels of stress and higher levels of self-rated mental health. The Green Health Walk route was co-designed with service users and staff at GMMH and aims to use environmental psychology to promote a healing environment and provide a space for exercise, learning and socialising.
Jon Ross, Founder and Director for Sow the City, a Manchester based not-for-profit empowering people to grow and live sustainably, said:
“Hospital gardens and greenspaces have huge potential for helping people and the planet. The Prestwich Green Health Walk project improves health but also provides produce for the hospital cafe, new habitat for wildlife, and climate change mitigation.”
Naomi Makin, Sustainability Manager at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“When it comes to mental health, Green Health helps people feel better and make healthier lifestyle choices. Our walk is aimed at the whole community, but we work hard to get our service users involved and enjoying green space. The Prestwich Green Health Walk is a place to relax for some self-care, walk with family when they visit, and for service users to use in their free time and take part in regular replanting projects. We already have some regulars who are being trained to be the walking guides of the future.”
The Trust and Sow the City are running regular guided tours this summer and training service users to be walk leaders. Some of these guided walks will be funded by Greater Manchester Walking (GM Walking), who are currently running the month-long #GetOutThisMay campaign as part of their GM Walking Festival.
Maps for the Green Health Walk are available from The Curve Reception on the Prestwich Hospital Site, Bury New Road, Prestwich, M25 3BL or visit www.gmmh.nhs.uk/green-health-walk.