Green-fingered volunteers spruce up Gorleston hospice site

More than 40 hardy souls braved high winds to lend a hand to East Coast Hospice staff setting in soi

More than 40 hardy souls braved high winds to lend a hand to East Coast Hospice staff setting in soil over 1200 plants around the boundary of Margaret Chadd House in Sidegate Road. - Credit: Archant

Volunteers rolled up their sleeves to plant tranquil gardens for a planned hospice in Gorleston.

More than 40 hardy souls braved high winds to lend a hand to East Coast Hospice staff setting in soi

More than 40 hardy souls braved high winds to lend a hand to East Coast Hospice staff setting in soil over 1200 plants around the boundary of Margaret Chadd House in Sidegate Road. - Credit: Archant

More than 40 hardy souls braved high winds to lend a hand to East Coast Hospice staff setting in soil over 1200 plants around the boundary of Margaret Chadd House in Sidegate Road.

The hedgerow plants and trees were 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 providing 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, and a kitchen garden.

More than 40 hardy souls braved high winds to lend a hand to East Coast Hospice staff setting in soi

More than 40 hardy souls braved high winds to lend a hand to East Coast Hospice staff setting in soil over 1200 plants around the boundary of Margaret Chadd House in Sidegate Road. - Credit: Archant

And for each of the ten in-patient 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.

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The day began with a one-sided struggle to erect a marquee in 45 mph winds 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.

The team 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, 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.'