The Alder Hey Urban Foraging Station

Thanks to Project Giving Back our brilliant garden, the Alder Hey Urban Foraging Station can be seen at The Chelsea Flower Show from 23rd May to 28th May 2022 and will be relocated at Alder Hey shortly afterwards for full public access and enjoyment.

Designed by brothers Hugh and Howard Miller, the Alder Hey Urban Foraging Station is a woven landscape; it is about weaving together the young and old, green and urban, play and learning and Alder Hey Children's Hospital with its community. At its core is the aspiration to inspire children to lead active, healthy, pleasurable lives. The garden is infused with the magic of discovery inherent to foraging. Visitors first encounter the garden as nostalgic glimpses through rampant, blossoming hedgerows. Within, a sense of freedom prevails; explore, 'leave the path', get lost in your own world. A design language of woven forms associated with foraging are abstracted into a woven landscape. Precast concrete 'strands' make up a picnic blanket laid over an undulating landscape with edible herbs growing through.

Alder Hey

Alder Hey is dedicated to going the extra mile to support the physical and mental health of every brave young patient who needs us. We pride ourselves on a child-centred approach and support the whole family to give their child the best start in life, from birth to early adulthood. Every penny raised through Alder Hey Charity’s current appeals will deliver access to the best possible equipment and facilities, above and beyond what is available on our hard-working NHS.
From keeping poorly tiny babies close to their loved ones, to providing a home from home for young people with complex and enduring mental health conditions, the difference you can make is amazing.

Relocation of the garden

Alder Hey prides itself on a holistic approach to wrap around care, understanding that the wider family network requires support as they look after their poorly child. From June, the Urban Foraging Station will be relocated to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital campus to benefit brave young patients, their families and the wider community.

Following a successful fundraising campaign for children’s mental health, Alder Hey Charity will be opening two new buildings later this summer to support mental health and wellbeing. Named by a group of young patients and inspired by nature, the Catkin Centre and Sunflower House will continue to reinforce Alder Hey’s place on the map as a centre for innovative and internationally recognised excellence. The garden will be located near the entrance to Sunflower House, an example of striking and functional modern architecture, clad in weathering Cor-ten steel and boasting design features drawn from the natural environment.

We have recently started the initial work on a brand new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and the charity is supporting the £19.35m build with a £3m appeal. The new garden will be within easy reach of the new mental health units and the new neonatal unit.

The Alder Hey Urban Foraging Station will provide a haven for wellbeing and togetherness for families and staff at Alder Hey. It will also be openly welcoming to the wider community, encouraging local residents to benefit from this unique garden and the foraging experience. Situated within established parkland, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital has a unique vision and outlook, incorporating the benefits of being in nature and the powerful impact that green space can have on our mental and physical health.

The NHS’s ‘5 Steps to Mental Wellbeing’ are interwoven through the garden’s design: connecting with people, being physically active, learning new skills, giving to others and mindfulness – paying attention to the present. The  ethos of the garden reinforces this theme, from the accessible child-centred design to the feast of opportunities to learn and share knowledge about forageable plants. Once relocated to its forever home, the garden will provide a space to take a mindful moment, amidst the hustle and bustle of one of Europe’s busiest children’s hospitals.

Download a copy of the Garden leaflet (coming soon!)

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