A NEW walk designed to help patients, staff and visitors with their physical and mental health has opened at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust’s (GMMH) Prestwich site.

The Green Health Walk, which has been constructed by Manchester-based social enterprise, Sow The City, comprises a 20 minute route through the grounds with seven different areas of interest to visit, including a heritage orchard, an allotment, a herb bed, a natural sculpture, habitat boxes and native woodland.

The pathway was co-designed with service users and staff at GMMH and aims to use environmental psychology to promote a healing environment and provide a space for exercise, learning and socialising.

Jon Ross, founder and director for Sow the City, which aims to help people to grow and live sustainably, said: “Hospital gardens and greenspaces have huge potential for helping people and the planet.

“The Prestwich Green Health Walk project improves health but also provides produce for the hospital cafe, new habitat for wildlife, and climate change mitigation.”

The Trust and Sow the City are running regular guided tours this summer and training service users to be walk leaders

Naomi Makin, sustainability manager at GMMH, said: “When it comes to mental health, green health helps people feel better and make healthier lifestyle choices.

“Our walk is aimed at the whole community, but we work hard to get our service users involved and enjoying green space.

“The Prestwich Green Health Walk is a place to relax for some self-care, walk with family when they visit, and for service users to use in their free time and take part in regular replanting projects.

“We already have some regulars who are being trained to be the walking guides of the future.”