Dev Fund 17 – Update for Nature Encounters Project

Nature Encounters have been working on their relaxation CD and a gardening project for Langdon hospital. Here, in their own words, is their latest report.

Relaxation CD for Langdon Hospital

Two service users were accompanied to Yarner Woods in order to make field recordings of nature sounds, for relaxation CDS made by patients for patients.

Using a portable audio recorder and Sennheiser shotgun microphone we managed to capture some fantastic ambient audio of the British Woodland, featuring the gentle buzzing of bees, the chatter of birdsong and the wind amongst the trees.

Both service users were visibly entranced whilst listening to the sounds of the forest in close up, and were amazed at the different tonal variations created by the ‘close miked’ steady flow of a babbling stream.

Glorious weather and a completely different experience in a beautiful setting.

6 week Gardening Course

Today [June 2017] we started the Nature Encounters project on Chichester ward (low secure ward). The Discovery Centre staff along with Simon Barber (Horticulture Technical Instructor) and Julia Honeywill (volunteer) invited patients to get involved in the 6 week gardening course.

The aim of the course is to revamp the garden which at the moment is overgrown and unattractive therefore unused, and increase opportunities for being with nature and attract wildlife to the garden. We started today with clearing existing raised beds. This went really well and we had a lovely weather for it.

3 patients got involved and helped to empty one of the biggest beds. We have 3 more to go! The plan is to fill up the bed with fresh compost next week and start planting donated herbs. Patients have been encouraged to talk to ward staff about planning a watering rota. There seem to be a lot of enthusiasm for it and people are getting excited about seeing fresh herbs in the garden and go out into the garden more often

At the moment patients use their hourly fresh air breaks for smoking in the REC area which is the front garden. Our project is running in the back garden which requires staff escort for access. Our aim is establish a weekly gardening slot for patients, starting with this 6 week course. The plan is that after the course ward based staff will take over and offer similar opportunity.

The course will be introduced to Avon House (low secure ward) on 21st June.