Tayside and Central Scotland

Forth Valley Royal Hospital woods get £100k 'makeover'

Forth Valley Hospital
Image caption The hospital opened to patients in August 2010

The woods around the Forth Valley Royal Hospital near Falkirk are to be made into a "green oasis" for patients and staff to "destress".

Forestry Commission Scotland, who are paying for the £101,000 project, said it would "transform" the woodlands.

The commission is planning to create new paths and cycle tracks, as well as planting more trees.

The woods, opposite the Larbert hospital, are also be opened to the local community.

Work has already begun to clear vegetation around the loch, which was largely hidden by rhododendrons, the Forestry Commission said.

'Gentle exercise'

The grant of £101,000 was one of 30 projects announced by Scottish Environment Minister Stewart Stevenson.

Officials at the hospital said research had shown that "green exercise" could have a positive impact on mental health.

Gordon Harper, the forest ranger based at the hospital, said: "Woodlands are great places to destress and simply get away from it all. If we give the woodland a makeover and improve access it will be more inviting and more people will use it.

"This is great news for patients needing gentle exercise or for anyone else wanting to just get a bit more active. We've lots planned for the woodland and we want to local community to get more involved."

The Forth Valley Royal Hospital opened to patients in August 2010.

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