Nature Watch For Young Patients – This Is Somerset

Young patients at the Royal United Hospital are being given the chance to study nature in a specially designed courtyard.

The unused space in the hospital grounds has been transformed into an oasis of peace, complete with sculptures.

The hospital’s artist in residence Julie Starks has created a willow deer, a bird and a shelter, which stand in the courtyard.

She was helped in transforming the area by patients from the children’s ward, who made clay creatures.

Each of the creatures was cast in a kiln and they have been used to create a wildlife trail.

RUH arts co-ordinator Hetty Dupays said: “Being able to see and access these gardens, or nature spaces, is extremely beneficial for hospital patients and staff.

“This particular courtyard garden has the added bonus of being directly accessible from the schoolroom on the children’s ward.

“As well as benefiting from a green and pleasant environment, the children will also be able to study plant and insect life and the art in the garden as part of their schooling while they’re in hospital.”

The garden was opened by city mayor Councillor Colin Barrett and children’s author Jeremy Strong, who met some of the children who created the sculptures this week.

They also attended a classical music recital in the Atrium, and viewed artwork by The Old Bakery Artists group and other local artists displayed in the hospital corridors.

Ms Dupays said: “We are very grateful to the Friends of the RUH, the People’s Mission Church and the Bath Primary Schools Arts Festival. Their generosity has made it possible to create a restorative and educational garden for everyone to enjoy.”