Garden at hospital is officially opened

Those present at the official opening of the garden at The Northumbria hospital included Marian Foster (centre) and Ian McMinn (right).

Those present at the official opening of the garden at The Northumbria hospital included Marian Foster (centre) and Ian McMinn (right).

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A new garden built in the grounds of the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital has been officially opened.

The garden – named The Retreat – provides a peaceful space for patients, visitors and staff to take time out from the hospital environment.

BBC Radio Newcastle gardening presenter Marian Foster and Ian McMinn, non-executive director at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, cut the ribbon to officially open the garden at the hospital site near Cramlington.

The trust worked with award-winning garden designer Sean Murray and Cramlington Rotary Club on the garden. Two local gardeners – an experienced local horticulturist and a final year horticultural student – were also part of the team.

It features trees, shrubs and perennials to provide year-round interest from bark, stems, flowers and leaves. Scented climbing plants create a secluded oak seating area set amongst natural paving.

The Retreat, chosen following suggestions from staff, has received funding from the trust’s Bright charity and fund-raising support from Cramlington Rotary Club.

Mr McMinn said: “I’m delighted that this garden is now complete.

“We have all watched it develop with great excitement and all the team are looking forward to seeing it take shape as the weather improves.”