There is a lot of excitement at Chestnut Tree House this week as our new Woodland Walk will officially open tomorrow.
The magical, interactive, wheelchair-accessible walk for the children and families who use the hospice has been built in an area of woodland adjacent to the House, which was gifted to us by our President, Lady Sarah Clutton.
The route has been carefully constructed to be safe while enabling children with complex, physical disabilities to see, touch and feel things that have previously been inaccessible to them before. There are lots of interactive sensory ‘zones’, including a ‘moon gate’ at the entrance leading to an exciting world of nature for the children to experience and explore. There is also a picnic area, bug zone, hanging garden, amphitheatre, tepee, chill zone, stick walk and pond area.
Renowned Sussex garden designer, Ann-Marie Powell, designed the walk and its creation has been project-managed by Greenfingers, the national charity dedicated to creating magical gardens in children’s hospices across the UK. They have enlisted the support of numerous horticultural suppliers to provide goods, services and helping hands at cost or free of charge, enabling so many wonderful features to be incorporated along the trail.
As well as the generosity of these suppliers, the project has been made possible thanks to a grant from the Department of Health and support from the South Downs National Park, Anna’s Fund and HSBC. Chestnut Tree House has not fundraised or used general donations for this project.
So now we just have to hope for good weather so we can all enjoy the official opening tomorrow – although wet weather will not deter most of the children, who are so excited that they will finally be able to explore the woodland walk.