We are currently working on a number of projects to bring nature and plants into peoples lives. Have a read and follow the links to donate or to see more about the organisations we are partnering with.
We are developing plans for designing and implementing eco-therapeutic spaces in a number of mental health facilities across Dorset. Plans at this stage are not finalised, and we have not yet begun fundraising for these works, but we are incredibly excited to have partnered with the NHS on such an important health concern for the UK and globally. We are looking forward to seeing the results and improved outcomes for service users, staff and family/carers.
High Mead Farm is a therapeutic working farm in Wimborne, Dorset. They bring positive change to those who get involved, irrelevant of background or disability. High Mead Farm offers the peace and tranquillity needed for sustainability in overall happiness, rehabilitation and recovery along with gaining new practical skills. We have been asked to design and create a new eco-therapeutic garden for them where there was an inherited but overgrown ‘area of planting’! This will provide a space to reflect, connect with nature, undertake therapy, and to find restoration to the body and mind. We are currently applying for grant funding to create the garden.
Our plans for High Mead Farm
We need to create a therapeutic and sensory garden, which is both suitable for the needs of the staff, co-farmers and volunteers, and sensitive to the farm and rural setting in which it sits. Our design solution is:
An accessible path (suitable for 1 wheelchair user and one standing person side-by-side), which divides and rejoins in several places, provides a variety of routes through and around the garden to explore. Relocating existing silver birch (Betula pendula) trees to elsewhere on the farm land allows space and greater flexibility for planting a wider variety of new trees and shrubs that are better suited to a therapeutic sensory garden and to this design. The pergola and willow tunnels provide height and shade/shelter, as well as seasonal & sensory interest and an element of fun. Beech (Fagus sylvatica) hedges act as a windbreak and help to break the garden up into ‘rooms’ and different areas, whilst still maintaining a sense of continuity through the garden. These rooms will provide a sense of privacy and allow for different planting styles and views. The planting styles will vary, and deliberately include both neat and orderly planting, as well as more relaxed planting with grasses and herbaceous plants. This deliberate mix of planting styles allows people to explore their own thoughts, emotions and behaviours through the garden, or simply as a space to enjoy without deeper reflection. There will also be strong links to native plants (for example the beech hedging), which will help tie the garden into the farm landscape. The aviary, landscaped in a Japanese style to look like a hill landscape, adds movement, sound and life, and encourages interaction with animals and the garden at the same time. It also provides and demonstrates an environment which promotes good welfare and a happy life for the rescue birds. Both covered and open seating areas mean that the garden can be used in all weathers. A swing seat will be incorporated into one of these seating areas for those that find the gentle movement therapeutic. A variety of sculptures, including smaller sculptures incorporated into the planting (in addition to the main ones indicated on the drawing), provide artistic exploration of several themes, such as the history of the farm, personal motivation and reflection on life. Wildlife is encouraged and habitats such as the pond, trees and variety of plants should ensure that the garden is a very healthy and active space for them. It is intended that additional bird feeders and nest boxes (not indicated on the drawing) will also be provided.
In the creation of this garden, we will work together with all the volunteers and co-farmers at the farm, teaching and guiding them in garden creation and landscaping skills. It will be a big community effort and massive achievement to create the garden! High Mead Farm community will also help design and make some of the sculptural pieces, and structural pieces. We will use recycled and repurposed materials as much as possible in keeping with the ethos of the farm and of Project Nurture. This will also mean that we can create a beautiful space very economically. We need to raise £50,000 to realise this dream. You can support us by donating to our Crowdfunding plea:
Donate via Crowdfunder.com
If you would like to join this list of current projects, please contact us and we will do our best to help you.