Rewilding Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr
Hospitals can be stressful places not only for patients but staff too. Rewilding Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr is our new initiative to help relieve stress and improve wellbeing by rewilding the hospital site.
Health and outdoor spaces
Gardens and outdoor wild spaces are proven to have benefits for positive mental and physical wellbeing and resilience.
Research has shown that increased use of green spaces can reduce long-term health problems - such as heart disease, cancer, and musculoskeletal conditions - and alleviate the severity of stress-related symptoms.
Being around nature calms us and takes our minds off the business of everyday life and stressful situations.
Rewilding Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr
With this in mind, the Pharmabees team, in partnership with the Aneurin Bevan Health Board, have launched Rewilding Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr - an initiative to restore the grounds of Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr hospital to its natural uncultivated state.
Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr, in Ystrad Mynach, is a 269-bed hospital with nine wards covering a diverse range of health conditions. It is also home of the St David’s Foundation Hospice.
This new site has been landscaped to be low maintenance and enjoyable to people in the hospital, rather than to support nature.
So far rewilding the grounds of Ystrad Fawr has seen the growth of a range of pollinator-friendly native wildflowers such as:
- common knapweed
- meadow buttercups
- oxeye daisy
- white campion
- cuckoo flower
- white gem
- white clover
- forget me nots
- red clover
- wild sweet pea
You can find out more information about these wildflowers from the Woodland Trust and the Wildlife Trust. If you want to grow your own wildflowers with our Pharmabees seed mix please see our plant identification guide (PDF).
The wildflowers are currently growing around the border of the hospital grounds and benches will be placed so that staff and visitors can enjoy the rewilding.
This scheme will attempt to increase biodiversity and reduce carbon emissions. By offering a safe haven and food source for local pollinators, rewilding areas allows insects to move out of woodland into sunnier spaces feeding on the nectar of wildflowers.
With pollinator populations on the decline creating diverse habitats is essential to safeguard these vital members of the ecosystem.
Carbon offsetting is reducing greenhouse gases in the most cost efficient way by allowing the growth of vegetation that draws carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere via plant photosynthesis.
In doing so this project will also help play a role in the fight against climate change. According to research by the Grassland Trust, grasslands can draw down and store up to 3 tonnes more carbon per hectare (10,000m squared) each year than standard turf.
Rewilding the grounds of Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr is not only good for the environment but will also be good for staff and visitors who can enjoy the green space outside.
A unique aspect to this rewilding project is that in addition to enhancing the flora and fauna of the local area, we will also be developing an approach with which to measure the impact of spending time in nature on the personal wellbeing of NHS staff.
Once developed, our hope is that this tool will be used to assess the impact of similar projects across Wales.
Take part in Pharmabees projects, and rewild at home: