Green Therapy is gaining momentum
Gardens and Health is a key theme championed by the National Garden Scheme. We recognise the benefits that time spent in a garden – either as a visitors or a gardener – can bring. We fund a number of gardens that provide therapeutic support for patients either in NHS healthcare settings – such as Horatio’s Garden and Maggie’s – or in a community like Stonebridge City Farm, Nottingham, which provides support, training, and education for volunteers, many of whom have physical and mental health challenges.
Referring patients to gardening projects is now a key part of Social Prescribing and one GP, Dr Richard Claxton, is a champion of Green Therapy, a nature-based therapy which links patients with gardens and green spaces to help with a wide range of problems.
If you are wondering what Green Therapy options are available in your neck of the woods, have a look at the Gardening4Health website, the web-based directory that Richard, GP, Gardener and Garden Designer, set up 18 months ago.
Richard is a passionate believer in the power of nature-based therapy for help with a wide range of problems – such as people with chronic diseases, mental and physical health problems, loneliness and isolation, sensory disabilities and, well, just about all of us with our health and wellbeing.
Richard wanted to have available to him as a referrer, and his patients – whether they wanted to volunteer or to be referred to receive help – an easy to use map of what garden opportunities are currently up and running.
Thanks, in part, to the National Garden Scheme helping to spread the word, social media, and some useful publicity in the Medical Press, the Gardening4Health Directory now contains around 500 different gardens or providers of Social and Horticultural Therapy across England, Northern Ireland and Wales (Scotland is already well-served by the National Charity Trellis and its website).
Richard says: “The accuracy of the Gardening4Health directory relies on people contacting me through the website to fill in any gaps and update it – so please have a look and see if there are any omissions or inaccuracies near you, and let me know.”
Green Therapy is gaining momentum across the UK and was the subject of a two-day conference entitled Health and Horticulture at RHS Wisley in mid-March. It is hoped that this will lead to wider availability of therapeutic horticulture, and better coordination of it across the nation as a means of providing people with treatment – wherever their home, and whatever their healthcare needs.
Discover more and share your Green Therapy services with Richard using the following links:
For more on the National Garden Scheme’s Gardens and Health programme click here