On the 15th November more than 40 volunteers braved the high winds to lend a hand to East Coast Hospice staff to plant over 1200 plants around the boundary of the site of Margaret Chadd House. The hedgerow plants and trees were generously donated by Miles Barnes of the Sotterley Estate and The Woodland Trust ensuring that the rural 7.54 acres will be surrounded by indigenous trees for generations to come.
The work marked the start of the development of the hospice gardens as the site easily lends itself to provide tranquil walks and quiet, reflective spaces for the hospice patients and their families. Ultimately the charity hopes the gardens will include a labyrinth, a memorial water feature, a Kitchen Garden; and for each of the ten inpatient bedrooms there will be a private garden to look out upon. For now, a beech hedge and clusters of rowan, hawthorn, hazel, silver birch, dogwood and wild cherry will grow to protect and enhance the setting.
The day began with a one sided struggle to erect a Marquee in 45 mph winds – a struggle won by nature so the decision was taken to serve homemade warming soup (made by Chairman Jennifer Beesley), coffee, tea and scones from the back of the East Coast Hospice van to the hardworking volunteers. Volunteers included friends from supporting organisations, individuals who wanted to plant memorial trees for loved ones and also teams from the local community payback service.
What was thought to be an all-day project was completed by 1pm, thanks to the sterling efforts and enthusiasm of all concerned. Community Fundraiser, Jeff Wood, took a walk around the site to speak to everyone. He said, “I was first stuck by the size of the land, having not walked across it all before and also struck by the enthusiasm of our lovely volunteers, who had given up their Sunday to come and help. Everyone was enjoying being a part of the beginning of something very special. It was a very great day for us and a huge milestone for our project.”
Please keep an eye out for more exciting news on Project Margaret Chadd House to follow in the coming weeks!
Photographs taken by Stephen Wolfenden (www.stephenwolfendenphotography.com)