To help promote the benefits of exercise and make the best use of our green spaces, NHS Ayrshire & Arran has developed the grounds of University Hospital Ayr and Ailsa Hospital to provide patients, staff and visitors with an accessible outdoor space.
The paths are funded by the Green Exercise Partnership (Forestry Commission Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, and NHSScotland) and can be used for walking, taking in nature or spending time relaxing or recuperating in peaceful surroundings. The paths have lots of seating and rest areas, are wheelchair accessible and suitable for everyone.
Within the two hospital campuses there are around 28 hectares of green space. This includes mature woodland, where some of the oldest trees are around 150 years old, and there is also a newly planted orchard. The woods are full of interesting wildlife including foxes, pheasants, squirrels and you can even see deer passing through the woods on most days. One resident of the woods has been around so long he has been given a name - Big Eric, the large hare, can be spotted on most days.
Studies suggest that there is a positive relationship between quality, accessible greenspace and mental and physical health and wellbeing.
Walking is the perfect exercise!
So why not try one of the four walks in the grounds of University Hospital Ayr and Ailsa Hospital? Click here for a map and more information.
David Meechan has recently joined us as a Greenspace for Health Senior Project Officer at University Hospital Ayr and Ailsa Hospital. Click here to read his introductory blog.
Every Wednesday from 25 January from 10am to 1pm, there will be a Green Gym at University Hospital Ayr and Ailsa Hospital. It will involve a variety of practical conservation tasks and healthy walking educational activities. So, if you are interested in getting fit in the new year, have an interest in the outdoors, or love mucking in with practical conservation work, then please join us! The Green Gym is free and open to everyone - patients, staff, visitors and the wider community.
We meet 10 minutes before it starts (at Afton House entrance/car park). We recommend public transport or car sharing as parking spaces are limited.
Bring a packed lunch and suitable clothing for the weather conditions.
If you are interested in becoming a part of the Green Gym please book by email or telephone at least one week in advance.
We require people to fill out and return a Green Gym volunteer welfare form and a criminal record check before they start. This can be provided by email for those who can fill it in electronically. For more information and to book, click here.
Calendar of events
Starting on 27 January there will be monthly educational activities on site at University Hospital Ayr and Ailsa Hospital. Learn all about the natural environment and the living, breathing landscape that surrounds our hospitals. Get fitter as we learn about the quality of air we breathe, the wildlife that encompasses the ground and sky, and you might learn exciting new skills at the same time. The best thing of all is that it is free! Everyone is welcome - patients, staff, visitors and the wider community. The activities are suitable for both adults and children.
If you are interested in any of the events or activities, please book by email or telephone at least one week in advance. For more information and to book, click here.
For more information on Greenspace for health, contact David Meechan, Greenspace for Health Senior Project Officer by email on David.Meechan@aapct.scot.nhs.uk or call 01292 885946.