Green places to meet, rest and roam

Spending time at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre has been improved with the launch of a special guide to help everyone discover, explore and enjoy the green spaces on the Northwood site.

The Space to Breathe map details the unique wild spaces that can be found on the site, including ancient woodland, a wildflower meadow, a fern garden and a wildlife pond. Also included are suggested walking routes and seating areas, spaces for outdoor meetings and a guide to the butterflies, birds and mammals that can be seen and heard on the woodland walk.

Louise, the wife of a patient at the Cancer Centre, said: “I really appreciated the green spaces at Mount Vernon whilst John was undergoing his treatment. Walking around them each day offered space to think and process my thoughts; the woodland walk around the formal lawn was a lovely space to take a stroll, and highlights were seeing foxes and a muntjac, with a tuneful birdsong as the musical score in the background. Thank you to the team for making this a perfect place of calmness during a challenging chapter in my life.”

Trisha Webbe, Assistant Director of Cancer Services at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre said: “We know that connecting with nature and enjoying green spaces and fresh air is recognised as being vitally important for mental health and wellbeing. This fantastic new guide will really help our patients and staff benefit from closer contact with the natural world and improve their wellbeing.”

The Space to Breathe map is part of ongoing sustainability work to improve green spaces across the hospital sites. Other projects at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre have included the creation of a fern garden outside the chemotherapy suite, a woodland walk and wildflower meadow, and new seating areas for patients and staff.

The Space to Breathe map was funded by Mount Vernon Cancer Centre Charitable Fund, part of East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals’ Charity.

Download the Space to Breathe map