Rowcroft Hospice buildings are in a wonderful setting on a hill with spectacular views across Torbay. The grounds extend to 22 acres, of which 11 are managed, the remainder being a woodland belt. It is easy to forget that the hospice buildings are situated in the middle of the town of Torquay.
The inpatient unit looks out onto formal lawns with borders, whilst Rainbow House is surrounded by an arboretum and an orchard. In contrast to this the Outpatient Centre is set in a more formal low maintenance area with a water feature.
There are many specialist trees growing in the grounds of the hospice, some of them over a hundred years old.
As Simon Weal the Estates manager says:
“We see the grounds as integral to the purpose of the hospice. What patients see when looking outside the window is extremely valuable in terms of their well-being.”
The grounds are therefore a hive of activity, being always colourful as the seasons change. The maritime air allows many plants that would struggle in even slightly harsher climates to thrive in the grounds. An abundance of wildlife can be seen from the hospice buildings.
Children, visitors and patients can walk through the grounds, or sit on the numerous benches enjoying the peace and tranquillity. There is a scented garden in a secluded setting off the main lawns and when the sun shines you will often see families enjoying a picnic on the grass.
These beautiful grounds are lovingly maintained by the Estates team, which comprises five permanent staff on the grounds and general maintenance side, augmented by five volunteer gardeners who give freely of their time to help with the upkeep.
Car parks, which are free for families visiting patients, are situated around the site.
In addition to the formal gardens a recent addition has been the Meadow of Memories. This meadow, planted annually by the Estates team, with wild flower seeds purchased from donations given by families. It is at it's most colourful in time for the annual memorial service which is held in the meadow in July of each year.