Hospital’s woodlands used for cardiac rehab

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Forestry Commission Scotland today launches a woodland rehabilitation programme for cardiac patients at Forth Valley Royal Hospital.

Taking place in the community woodlands immediately opposite the hospital grounds, the pilot programme will run for three hours each week over a six week period to help cardiac patients relax and slowly rebuild their strength in the outdoors.

Up to 15 people will attend the programme which includes introductory tai chi, nature photography and willow sculpting, in addition to regular visits to the hospital’s cardiac department. 

Gordon Harper community ranger, Forestry Commission Scotland comments:

“Recovering from major surgery can cause immense worry and stress.  Being in the woodlands can make a positive difference to your health and well-being. 

“Our experience from running similar programmes shows that taking part in light and fun activities can help a person’s healing process. 

“This pilot is one of many initiatives that we hope to facilitate for the benefit of other patients within the hospital, and we are developing a number of woodland events for staff and the wider community.”

Lindsay Scott, senior cardiac rehabilitation physiotherapist, Forth Valley Royal Hospital comments:

"This is a wonderful setting, totally relaxing. Our patients are really looking forward to exercising outdoors. Being in the fresh air not only makes people feel better but it may also inspire them to come back at a later date and stroll through the woodlands."

Announced last year, the Commission and NHS Forth Valley joined forces with Central Scotland Forest Trust and Falkirk Council to transform the hospital’s woodlands in to a “green oasis” for patients, staff, visitors and the community.

Rhododendron clearing has been completed and now exposes a large natural pond, and the creation of new benches, picnic areas and pathways will be completed by September. 

The funding came from Forestry Commission Scotland’s Woods In and Around Towns (WIAT) challenge fund, which gives financial support to woodland owners to improve their woods for the benefit of communities, and NHS Forth Valley.

Notes to Editors

 1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government’s Environment & Forestry Directorate

2.  For news, events and recreation information log on to or

3.   Tha FCS ag obair mar bhuidheann-stiùiridh coilltearachd Riaghaltas na h-Alba agus a' riaghladh nan 660,000 heactairean ann an Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta, a' dìonadh, a' cumail smachd air agus a' leudachadh nan coilltean gus buannachdan a thoirt dha coimhearsnachdan, an eaconamaidh agus, ag obair an aghaidh atharrachadh gnàth-shìde.

5.       Media enquiries to Steve Williams, Forestry Commission Scotland press office 0131 3143 6508.