Erskine Hospital provides long-term care for veterans of the British Armed Forces. It was founded in 1916 due to the urgent need to treat the thousands of military personnel that lost their limbs in the First World War. It has gone on to offer help to British ex-service people from all wars since World War One. The charity is close to celebrating its centenary year which is in 2016. It has grown to become the biggest ex-services facility in the country. Since 2004 CPA has provided consultancy, design services and site supervision for landscape elements of upgraded to the facilities including external works for new veterans cottages with front gardens, communal gardens and allotment spaces. As part of the Centenary plans the demolition of redundant cottages in 2013-14 opened up the grounds for the opportunity to extend the Parkland to a significant part of the grounds CPA provided full landscape consultancy design and site supervision for the consolidation and conservation of the wider parkland landscape of the estate. In commemoration of the hospitals centenary year plans are underway to display extensive coverage of poppies as an act of remembrance of the first world war and the foundation of the hospital. A series of cottage demolitions were carried out over 2010-14 with the old cottages not viable for improvement replaced by new bungalows to a high specifications with all modern facilities to service the residents and their families. New landscape to front gardens included a mix of shrubs and herbaceous to create a colourful cottage garden with a selection of feature trees, conifers and shrubs in the front lawns. The existing garden centre was replaced in a major redevelopment in 2010 and the development includes a SUDS detention pond with 2no. willow trees added to replace the loss during the Great War of the Vanishing Willows. For the Centenary of the Hospital in 2016 work is underway to seed the field to the north of the Garden Centre with extensive coverage of poppies set within a linked series of grass paths As part of the Centenary plans the demolition of redundant cottages in 2013-14 opened up the grounds for the opportunity to extend the Parkland to a significant part of the grounds Significant feature trees, conifers and specimen shrubs were planted in Spring 2014 with extensive swathes of wild meadow seeding and higher maintained grass margins to create a new parkland extending the Park landscape. Large bark pits have been added to the existing historic trees and conifers retained within Original grass A single cottage has been retained and improved with allotments added to an enhanced cottage garden. Residents have started their individual plots within the framework of the gardens which include sheds and storage areas with a water supply Woodland clearance to the Kirkton strip is planned for early 2015 to remove the sycamore which has over 50 years choked out the original plantings Replacement of mixed native plantings will be carried out by Spring 2015 and a woodland walk added to allow informal nature rambles to view the improvements Clearances of moribund and overgrown woodland scrub in a prominent area of the park has allowed the development of a woodland glade with a path linking the Stone Wall feature to the recent addition of the Lost Garden designed by Jayne Whitehead of Ivy Maude Design in 2014 to commemorate the Great War.
Client: MAST Architects and Erskine Hospital
See also Erskine Dementia Unit