Benefits of ‘greening’ schools ?

Samantha Klein, a middle school teacher from Washington, USA, explored this question in her master’s thesis. As an educator, she noticed that middle school often marks the end of elementary school features that support physical and mental health, like outdoor recess and green space. With the many changes and challenges that come with middle school, kids lose access to nature when they need it most. Samantha–with support from others – confirms the benefits or bringing nature to schools, including the ‘Return On Investment’ for planting trees, in a new report. 

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How to build a wildlife log wall

Making a wildlife log wall at home is an easy activity to help keep wildlife safe and cosy over the winter months. Tracy Snell, who is a Garden Manager at RHS Garden Bridgewater, shows you how.

Top tips for encouraging Pollinators

By Christine Hipperson- Jervis

Director of Bench Ecology

I attended a webinar yesterday about the All Ireland Pollinator Plan, which encourages everyone from farmers to local authorities, schools, gardeners and businesses, to come together to try to increase biodiversity for pollinators.

They have a good website that has some really useful advice and resources, including posters and information packs to encourage people to act to save and increase pollinators. The advice is tailored to Ireland but a lot of the information is useful for us too.

Take a look at the following guide, which you may find useful in making your gardens more sustainable and insect friendly.

The All Ireland Pollinator Plan website is There are many more resources and information on this, including a ‘Pollinator friendly planting code’ document that has some really useful information on the most beneficial trees for wildlife and what species are best in what locations.

play equipment for your project?

Copper Beech Play have teamed up with Social Farms & Gardens to donate some of their beautiful handmade natural play equipment to one of our members.

To be in with a chance of winning, simply share a post to the Social Farms & Garden’s Facebook Group using the hashtag #SFGCopperBeech along with a photo.

Photo Competition

The photo should relate to the monthly theme. November’s theme is “spaces that empower refuges and asylum seekers”.

You may want to feature your service users or special spaces within your site that support and enhance activities. It could be a photo of people, veg, produce, or crafty creations by the people who beneift from your service. Or your photo could show how the new equipment will benefit your community. Be creative, have fun and please interpret the theme how you wish.

Full Ts and Cs on our website.

How Japanese People Stay Fit for Life, Without Ever Visiting a Gym

Kaki Okumura

For people stressed or intimidated by fitness culture

In the United States, I’m often bombarded with images and ads of fitness culture. Athleisure is the craze, and it seems that the majority of people are members of gyms like Anytime Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness, or LA Fitness. Any decent hotel or typical college campus has free access to a gym, sometimes even offering workout clothes for rental. It’s the land of Alo Yoga and the birthplace to Crossfit. The most successful online influencers write about fitness, and it’s not uncommon to see someone share their workout on social media as they would their food.

But in contrast to that, for a country that is a leader in longevity and has very low rates of obesity — the least among high-income developed nations at 4.3% — you might be surprised to find that there is not much of a workout culture in Japan. Athleisure is not a big thing, and not many people have a membership to a gym. People would rarely use their lunch break for a gym session, and those who do are probably seen as exercise zealots.

In a recent Rakuten Insight survey of 1000 Japanese citizens ages 20 to their 60s, about half of those questioned revealed that they barely exercised, about once a month or not at all. Citing not enough time or simply that they don’t like exercising that much, most people just didn’t see working out as part of their lifestyle.

What’s going on here?

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Surviving the winter-webinar tomorrow!

Register here

Nature’s cure- a fascinating discussion

Monty Don, Britain’s most treasured horticulturalist and broadcaster, and Sue StuartSmith, prominent psychiatrist and psychotherapist, reflect on the life-affirming capacity of gardening and nature to soothe troubled minds in our disturbing world. Sue Stuart-Smith’s The Well Gardened Mind is an inspirational investigation into the effects of gardening and green spaces on our health and well-being. Monty Don’s My Garden World is a personal journey through the natural year. His most recent publication, American Gardens, includes Middleton Place in Charleston, South Carolina.

Click here to register and watch the replay:

8 ways to stay positive during the second lockdown, according to an expert

Keep your spirits high with these simple daily doings

Lisa Walden

With four-week lockdown restrictions in place across England and a ‘new normal’ Christmas season looming, it’s not always easy to stay positive.

To help us all feel more joyful, we spoke to the team at Mind for their expert-approved tips on staying positive. From heading outside to talking to loved ones over the phone, there are many things you can do to keep your spirits high.

“We’ve all had to make relatively sudden and big changes to our lifestyle, including our work. Adjustments to our routine, unfamiliarity and uncertainty can stir up a range of emotions, and affect our wellbeing,” Rosie Weatherley, Mind’s Information Content Manager, tells Country Living.

“It’s vital that we’re all taking steps to look after our own mental health at the moment, as well as keeping an eye out for loved ones”

Take a look at their eight ways to stay positive…

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Adieu Blue — leaf and twig

your intensity more precious for its passing

Adieu Blue — leaf and twig

Allotments have been disappearing from cities – here’s why they are ripe for a comeback

More than half of the growing global population now live in cities and towns, and in the UK and many other countries in the global north that figure exceeds 80%. As a consequence, most people are now physically distant from the production of food.

Urban horticulture – growing fruits and vegetables within cities and towns – can support biodiversity and improve health and wellbeing. It can also reconnect the urban population with food production, and make a potentially important contribution to food security.

Allotments – plots of land leased to individuals to grow fruit and vegetables – could play a key role in increasing urban food production. Our research shows that although they have seen a significant fall since their peak in the 1950s, allotments still make an important contribution to local food security. There is also the potential to greatly increase this contribution.

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Connecting People with Nature

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