Community volunteers making a ‘growing’ impact at Co Antrim hospital
A group of community volunteers are making a real difference for both patients and the local biodiversity, through a dedicated project of tree and wildflower planting at Dalriada Hospital in Ballycastle.
Launched five years ago by the Heart of the Glens Partnership, locals set out to improve the biodiversity of the area, and to improve the natural environment at the site for the health and wellness of locals, staff, MS Centre users and hospital visitors.
The first stage of the transformation seen the creation of flower beds, a paved area and the provision of seating at the hospital door. A wildflower meadow was also created in partnership with the grounds crew from Northern Health and Social Care Trust, with the first batch of trees planted in 2017.
The latest efforts on Saturday (2 April) further added to the amazing collaboration between the local community, Northern Trust and the Woodland Trust, with 200 trees planted along with 60 wildflower plugs planted in the meadow.
Ballycastle man and volunteer, Daniel McAfee, told Love Ballymena:
“We literally live meters from Dalriada Hospital. The project with the formation of wildflower meadow, the snaking paths and the trees bordering it, has made the area a much-more attractive green space for the community, and for children to enjoy bug hunting and playing games.
“There are very few local areas like it.”
According to the group, this is just the latest part of the environmental improvement plan, and there is more to come.
“Hopefully the project, like the trees, will continue to grow and everyone will feel the benefits it has to offer,” Daniel said. “Making the grounds a pleasant environment for staff, patients and the community, is also making it a great place for nature.”