Some of my regular readers may remember that Chestnut Tree House was granted permission to develop a wheelchair-accessible woodland walk within the woods adjacent to our grounds.
Back in February, our President, Lady Sarah Clutton, turned the first sod of earth and since then the progress has been really amazing.
The walk will receive its official opening tomorrow (Thursday, 19 June). The aim of the project has to create a magical outdoor space for children and their families. There is a wheelchair-accessible pathway that meanders through the beautiful wooded area, under the canopy of trees and natural vegetation.
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.
For some children, this will be their very first time in such an environment. And there is all sorts of fun to be had, with en-route viewing points, a picnic area with wheelchair accessible outdoor furniture, and bug boxes.
Now, let’s just 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.
The Woodland Walk 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.
The creation of the Woodland Walk 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 us to have so many wonderful features along the trail.
The walk has been designed by renowned Sussex garden designer, Ann-Marie Powell.
Chestnut Tree House, in Dover Lane, Arundel, cares for over 280 children and young adults from 0-25 years of age with progressive life-limiting conditions.
For more information on Chestnut Tree House visit the website www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk