Webinar: How Tree Wardens can support local schools to create an Orchards for Schools project and more

Date:  19th November 2020

Time: 4-5pm

About this Event

The Tree Council has an ambitious national school programme which aims to unlock the power of trees for all young people. One element of this is the Orchards for Schools project, which will create fantastic orchards and fruiting hedgerows in schools around the country.

We know many Tree Warden networks already work closely with local schools to inspire students and get them involved in tree projects. This webinar will demonstrate how Tree Wardens and volunteers can support schools in their area to apply for and get stuck into an Orchards for Schools project and more.

Presented by National Tree Warden Scheme Co-ordinator Sam Village and National Schools Programme Manager Richard Pollard, the one hour webinar will help you unlock the steps you can take to grow a supportive relationship with local schools.

We will discuss:

  • An overview of The Tree Council’s national schools programme
  • Health and Safety: the challenges schools are facing in the middle of the global pandemic, from well-being to site operations. We will also highlight the health and safety considerations that protect you and the school and how to go about discussing these considerations.
  • Practical support: what practical support and advice schools are likely to need, from planning an orchard to delivering a planting event to general orchard or hedgerow maintenance and care.
  • Learning and engagement: what learning opportunities you can help schools develop, finding ways to share your passion and knowledge of trees or opportunities to help schools raise the profile of their project in the local community. We’ll also share the orchard packs and digital resources on offer from The Tree Council.

We will leave you with some top tips which will help you and the school manage expectations and encourage the germination of a really positive and supportive relationship.

To book a place please click on this link https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/125938765237

first network get together

A dozen people came together on Monday for the first Green Care Network get together; to explore The Nurture Project near Fakenham, find out about each others’ involvement and interest in green care and to discuss how the Network might develop in the coming months.

Hosted by The Nurture Project’s Director, Calyn Kilpatrick, the afternoon included a tour of the Project’s woodland and walled garden- both places used in the therapeutic programmes run at the project.

Kym Cooper from Central England Co-Op provided refreshments and talked about how the Co-Op might help green care projects and the Network more generally.

‘It was great to see people from different projects keen to find out about each other’, said Nigel Boldero, one of the initiators of the Network.

A discussion about possible developments included a number of ideas which will be looked at further by the Network’s Coordination Group:

  • Looking at community gardens linking into ‘open garden’ events in towns and villages, so as to broaden out the appreciation and support of them by visitors to domestic gardens.
  • Staff teams from the Co-op and other employers being used to help out with practical tasks at green care projects.
  • Developing customised training for green care projects so as to more directly address their needs.
  • Having more ‘get togethers’ at other green care projects so as to engage and learn from each other.
  • Developing a system for enabling clients to progress between projects as their needs change
  • A potential ‘strategic partnership’ with the Co-Op to help support the development of the Network, and possibly make start up funding available for expanding or creating new green care projects in areas where these don’t exist.

‘I was really encouraged by the positive atmosphere’, says Nigel. ‘And the prospect of bringing in resources and expertise from the Central England Co-op is really exciting. We will hopefully be able to progress these ideas with an eye on making a significant leap forward in the New Year.’

how can we supercharge youth climate action?

From Semble

Join us for this free online webinar to discuss and debate how we can support ALL young people to take environmental action.

We’ll be hearing from schools, charities and businesses – as well as some of the youth activists leading the movement – on how collaboration can empower young people to make change happen.

The eclectic panelists include:

  • Mya-Rose Craig aka Birdgirl – the youth activist tackling equality in environmentalism
  • The Eco Emeralds – the primary school kids who sparked a national movement
  • Carley Sefton from Learning through Landscapes – an NGO enabling kids to connect with nature
  • Roy Kareem – a Black & Green Ambassador driving collaboration between diverse communities, businesses and individuals across Bristol

Whether you’re a parent, activist, policy maker, educator, funder or just passionate about youth climate justice, join us to hear from some of the young people making waves and a chance to pose your questions in a live Q&A. 17th November 5pm- 6.30pm

Join here

“I’ve always lived in a place with gardens”: Residents’ homemaking experiences in Australian aged-care gardens

MimiTsai Debra Flanders Cushing MarkBrough


• Gardens reinforce the concept of ‘home’ and reinterpret feelings of home in Australian aged-care facilities.

• Residents engage with homemaking to transform their roles from passive receivers to active contributors in the garden.

• Aged-care gardens blur the boundaries between communal and private spaces.

• A healthful landscape experience integrates aged-care residents’ emotional, social and sensory landscape experiences.


Gardens play a vital role in homemaking for many older people living in aged-care facilities. A garden is where residents can assert ownership, agency, and recall significant memories, especially after relocation in later life. This research addresses a gap in literature about aged-care gardens by expanding notions of therapeutic benefits. It adopts a phenomenological framework and applies unstructured interviews, Go-Along videorecording and digital storytelling for data collection. Findings suggest residents are not merely passive users of gardens, they are active creators, shaping their outdoor environment through gardening and creating meanings in their local landscape that contribute to their experience of being ‘home’.

Find out more: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1353829219306586?via%3Dihub

Latest Covid restrictions for voluntary groups

National restrictions in England from 5 November

DCMS advice: “Voluntary and charitable activities are exempt from a number of the new restrictions. This means that, where volunteers are able to volunteer outside their home …they can: meet in groups of any size indoors or outdoors while volunteering….travel to volunteer or while volunteering [provided that offices, green spaces and travel remain COVID Secure]”.

Mark Webster of Thetford Conservation Group says:

‘Given that our parks, woods, riverside and countryside will remain open and people will continue to rely on these green spaces for free access to nature, exercise and recreation, I feel that it is important therefore that (wherever possible) we continue, through our volunteering programme, to manage and improve these green spaces as best we can.  Given the above government advice, and the fact that our conservation activities are kept very low risk (we are outdoors, can easily keep 2m apart, do not share tools – and I really miss not having the communal tea and cakes!) I am therefore intending to continue with our conservation group activities as usual, unless I hear otherwise.’

Green Care groups seek strength in numbers

From Growth Point 29/10/20- Thrive’s monthly newsletter

Green Care organisations in Norfolk are looking to come together to better promote their services in anticipation of rising health issues as a result of Covid-19.

Therapeutic horticulture, care farming, community garden and nature-based groups in the county want to create a Green Care Network that will heighten awareness of what they offer to GPs and clinical commissioners.

It is envisaged the initiative could signpost opportunities for individuals looking to move to the next stage of their recovery journeys through Green Care.

Carlyn Kilpatrick, of the Nurture Project at Kettlestone, and Nigel Boldero, (pictured above) who has been involved in various community gardening projects, are heading efforts to create the Norfolk network.

I firmly believe that Green Care projects and services have a massive role to play

Nigel Boldero

Nigel said: ‘We are all conscious of how “all things green” have become so much more important for so many people over the last few months, and the profile of the natural world and our part in it have become more prominent.

‘As we face another period where many people may find themselves in restricted circumstances, and with the prospect of considerable unemployment and rising mental health issues, I firmly believe that Green Care projects and services have a massive role to play and am committed to helping them through the formation of the network.’

It is hoped the hub could also share expertise, resources and ideas between members, potentially via an online platform that would be accessible to the 150+ people and projects already interested in the network. Project collaboration, training and promoting research could also become areas of mutual support and development.

Anyone interested in finding out more, should contact Nigel by emailing nbold@live.com

Gardens and Coronavirus 2020

New National Garden Scheme report highlights the importance of  gardens and outdoor spaces during lockdown  

 A new report from the National Garden Scheme emphasises the vital role that gardens and outdoor spaces played – and continue to play – in the physical and mental health and wellbeing of the nation during lockdown. Bringing together feedback from garden owners, viewers of their unique Virtual Garden Visits that aired throughout lockdown, and an online survey conducted in August, the National Garden Scheme report confirms that the power of gardens to do good has never been more important. 

George Plumptre, Chief Executive of the National Garden Scheme said, “Anecdotally, from the responses we received to our Virtual Garden Visits during lockdown, we knew that gardens (real and virtual) were playing a significant and important role in people’s lives. In August, to back this up, we ran an online survey entitled ‘The importance of our gardens and outdoor spaces during lockdown’. Over 2,400 people responded giving us a set of key statistics which confirmed much of the feedback we had already established; that access to gardens and green spaces can play a vital role in our ability to cope in times of crisis. 

“The report lays out our findings, the statistics along with some of the long-form stories that survey respondents shared with us, and the feedback from a selection of our own National Garden Scheme garden owners.” 


2,419 people responded to the online survey 

92% said their gardens and outdoor spaces were ‘extremely important’ to them during lockdown in terms of health and wellbeing 

87% said that a key benefit gained from access to their garden/outdoor space during lockdown was ‘It helped to relieve stress.’ 

100% of those with balconies or window boxes (35 respondents) said a key benefit was the reduction in stress – all of these respondents were within an urban or suburban environment 

Of respondents with access only to a public outdoor space (20 respondents) 95% said that a key benefit was that ‘It helped to relieve stress’ (as opposed to 87% overall) 

78% said that a key benefit gained from access to their garden/outdoor space during lockdown was ‘It helped them appreciate nature’ 

69% said that a key benefit gained from access to their garden/outdoor space during lockdown was ‘It kept them fit and contributed positively to their physical fitness’ 

86% said they used their gardens more during lockdown  

77% used their gardens for relaxation 

81% spent their time growing and propagating seeds 

70% grew their own produce 

Enjoying time to watch and encourage wildlife, connecting with neighbours ‘over the garden gate’, completing overdue garden projects and enjoying the sanctuary of their outdoor spaces were common themes in the long form responses. 

The Report

Gardens and Coronavirus 2020
The importance of garden outdoor spaces during lockdown
Read and download the full report here Survey Results September 2020

Associated content:

Case Studies:
Dave Darwent, Sheffield: “It came as a bit of a surprise that opening my garden is a kind of therapy for my mental wellbeing”
Click here  

Amanda Cooper, Oxfordshire: “The sanctuary of my garden in lockdown.” Click here

Gardens & Health
programme overview and virtual visits Click here

For more information please contact Communications Manager Vicky Flynn

Workplace wellbeing and green space

New research shows gardens and other green spaces at hospital sites have an important role to play in supporting staff wellbeing. Our year-long study focused on three NHS sites that had taken steps to encourage their staff to relax and recharge in green space. Staff stress has long been a critical issue for the NHS, where in 2019 more than four in 10 staff reported feeling unwell as a result of work-related stress in the last 12 months. These problems have been greatly exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, making staff wellbeing a greater priority now than ever. Our research shows that there is a strong appetite among health staff to take time outdoors – either for breaks or in the course of work – and points to a range of wellbeing benefits.

The study found: 

  • At each of the sites a large majority of staff (83-89%) said they would like to spend more time in green space at their site than they currently did. Benefits described included feeling relaxed and calm, refreshed and re-energized and positive effects on mental and physical wellbeing. A sizable proportion of staff (44-52%) said attractive green spaces were important to them in considering where to work – suggesting that this affects recruitment and retention. 
  • Staff who said they regularly spent time in their sites’ green spaces during the working day reported significantly higher levels of wellbeing. The more ways in which staff said they spent time in green space at work, the higher was their reported wellbeing. 
  • The most common way in which staff spent time in green space at work was taking a walk at the site during a break. This points to strong potential for encouraging informal walking, either alone or with others, an initiative that had already proved successful at one of the sites in the study. 
  • While relatively few staff at each site had engaged in organised recreational activities at work, such as Qigong or gardening, those who had had slightly higher wellbeing scores than those who had not. 
  • Staff who had face-to-face contact with patients spent less time in green space than those who did not. However, contact with patients was also found to predict wellbeing. This suggests that staff spending time with patients in green space enjoy a dual wellbeing benefit. 

Our study was carried out in collaboration with the University of Essex and with support from the Health Foundation, an independent charity committed to bringing about better health and healthcare for people in the UK. 

The research, conducted before the pandemic, explored staff experience of time in green space at work, including both benefits and barriers.

Download the Space to Breathe Summary PDF, or the Full report

Watch the recording and presentations from the launch event on 22 October 2020.

research project needs your help

Group activities in nature and long-term wellbeing is a PhD research project exploring the experiences of people who take part in outdoor group activity programmes and the impact of attending them on their long-term wellbeing.

The aim of this study is to explore the longevity of benefits to participants’ wellbeing from attending outdoor group activity programmes during the ages of 16-29, by considering the impact on their wellbeing at the time and over their life. It has been shown that outdoor group activity programmes improve peoples’ wellbeing at the time, however, we are unsure how long the benefits last and if and how they become part of a person’s life. It is important we develop understanding of the factors at the activities and in people’s lives that support improvements to wellbeing over time and the factors which prevent this from happening as well. Especially considering the challenges to wellbeing (mental, physical and social) for individuals and communities.

Participants need to have attended:

  • during the ages of 16-29 (can be older now),
  • at least 5 years ago or if still attending started at least 5 years ago,
  • an adventure, environmental conservation, exercise, farming, or gardening programme.

Taking part involves two activities, producing a timeline representing specific experiences over your life and taking photos of a place you go to for your wellbeing, and two interviews. The activities will take around 15-45 minutes each and the interviews will be between 1-2 hours. The interviews will be by video chat or phone.

Further information about the study and taking part is at https://wp.lancs.ac.uk/greencareandwellbeing/. I am happy to answer any questions and discuss taking part with you via email, a.harrod1@lancaster.ac.uk, or phone 01524 594710. Thank you for your consideration, Andy Harrod.

Asters lunch — My Botanical Garden

photo of pink asters with a bumble bee

Asters lunch — My Botanical Garden

Connecting People with Nature

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