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Martlets, a hospice caring for people living through a terminal illness in and around Brighton and Hove is running a unique project that supports bereaved men as they tend a community allotment.
Mark Minard is a Moving Image Nature Arts in Health specialist. Mark’s background is in design engineering. He brings this experience and his deep understanding of our connection to nature to his work as an artist and film-maker. His films are used to support patients, their families, carers and staff in locations such as hospitals, maternity units, care homes and hospices. Mark speaks to the Landscape Gardens and Health network (LGHN) about his work with the moving image.
Colin Porter reports on the garden cultivated by members of Denbigh Men’s Shed, one of the most successful Men’s Sheds in Wales.
A few weeks ago I attended the annual meeting of Men’s Shed UK in Worcester. There are now over 400 Men’s Sheds in the UK which provide a workshop space where men (and sometimes women), usually but not exclusively of retirement age, can carry out renovation projects, craft work and community projects.
Video: Horticultural Therapy and The Military - The Next Chapter
It would be difficult to argue with Grounded Ecotherapy’s description of itself as ‘one of London’s most unique horticultural therapy projects’. Part of Providence Row Housing Association – an organisation that helps those recovering from addiction or who have known homelessness – the project offers training and support while at the same time, improving our public spaces.
Grounded Ecotherapy was founded 12 years ago, by Paul Pulford and Kelvin Barton. At the time, Kelvin was a Mental Health Co-ordinator for Providence Row and Paul a former resident of its Hackney Road hostel. After seven years of living on the streets, Paul, with Kelvin’s help, rediscovered gardening, something he’d enjoyed as a child. His first project was the creation of a small garden in the hostel grounds.
The words of Margaret Mead are often quoted when individuals join together to make something happen. The Lady Ryder Memorial Garden near Henley on Thames illustrates the great anthropologists point perfectly - we should ‘never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can make a difference’.
We know that the vitality of our food has a big impact on our health, but could this vitality increase if we interfered less with the soil?
However loudly we voice our respect for Nature’s intelligence, when it comes to growing food, whether on a commercial or an amateur basis, we’re reluctant to rely on it. Instead we act as if the soil had little life of its own. The worldwide and slowly expanding network of Shumei Natural Agriculture farmers believe that it is time to let Nature show us the way. The simplicity of their methods may challenge our deeply entrenched ideas but their results are impressive. Perhaps trusting in the power of the soil could be of greater help to us than we imagine?
Pru Phillips works as a volunteer at North Devon Hospice and in the permaculture garden at Tapely Park, Instow, North Devon. Tapely Park is a private country estate owned by Hector Christie. It describes itself as a 'sustainable stately home in the making'. Hector Christie has a strong commitment to conservation, environmental and sustainabilty causes.
Four years since it was published in Outside Magazine, Florence Williams' article, Take Two Hours of Pine Forest and call me in the morning continues to be an excellent introduction to the idea that spending time in Nature is something we all need.
There are many different kinds of gardens and landscapes that facilitate health and wellbeing. The network embraces all projects and examples ranging from hospices, hospitals, care homes, clinics, prisons, community gardens, cancer centres as well as nature based therapeutic work such as Ecopsychology and horticulture therapy. Landscape is taken in its broadest sense, embracing the natural and designed environment, highlighting its many relationships to human health and wellbeing.