External Links: growing & gardens

Muddy Faces is all about getting outdoors with your groups, families and friends. Getting your hands into the soil is great for physical and mental health, and the joy and wonder of planting a seed and seeing a shoot start to grow is immeasurable. A garden is a unique place to sit and be, or collaborate and play in. And eating food that you have grown yourself is an important lesson in where our food comes from.

We have compiled a list of interesting & inspiring websites on growing & gardens, including the main governing bodies, national organisations and initiatives – many are directly related to working & playing outdoors, some have a wider remit or are included because we think they may be helpful to know about.

Click on a tab to see the links in that section.

We do our best to keep these links up to date. If you find any broken links or have something you think should be added, please email share@muddyfaces.co.uk with ‘links’ in the subject line. Thank you.

Disabilities & Allotments

Thoughts on accessible plots & useful links list. From SWCAA.

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Gardening for Disabled Trust

“Don’t let disability, age or accident stop you…”. Give grants to people all over the UK in order that they may continue to garden. Also advice, newsletter, events & design.

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Sensory herbs for Children

Lovely section on sensory herbs for children from the Herbaholics Herbarium!

Thrive: Carry on Gardening

Helping people with a disability to start or continue gardening. Practical info to make garden jobs easier; advice on taking care; hints, tips, kit & equipment.

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Allotments & Children

Notes aimed at new allotment holders who have children, including first steps, what to do and references.

Allotment Garden

The go-to site for anyone growing their own! So much, info, articles, advice, recipes, videos, jobs-to-do etc you’ll spend hours browsing!

Allotment Resources

Online research tool intended for everybody who is interested in finding out more about allotments, allotment gardening and growing-your-own food, past, present and future.

South West Counties Allotment Association

Great site promoting the benefits of allotments, gardening and growing nationally. Lots of useful guides & factsheets and other useful info.

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National Allotment Society

Growing & legal advice, how to get and use an allotment, campaigns, news, downloads & resources, and events including National Allotments Week in August.

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Scottish Allotments & Gardens Society

Working for allotment sites and plot holders throughout Scotland, to protect sites from developers, preserve skills in gardening and design, and promote the value of allotments.

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Wildlife on Allotments

Great downloadable pdf booklet on the bugs and creatures that can help or hinder your allotment. From Natural England.

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Earth Easy: Grow Compost

Benefits of composting; what & how to compost – different methods, different containers, tips and guides.

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Recycle Now

Lots of info about reuse, recycling and reducing – including how to make compost from kitchen and garden waste.

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A-Z of a Wildlife Garden

Info on habitats, what to do each month, common animals, plants, lots of activities to attract wildlife into your garden, and the Wild Challenge. From the RSPB.

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BBC Gardening with Children

“Entertain your children with a range of educational activities that have been developed, in collaboration with the RHS, for four- to seven-year olds.”

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Gardening Channel

Gardening tips and discussions and a wealth of useful advice on general gardening, growing fruit & veg, and nutrition.

Gardening Register

Free online gardening advice, q&as and easy to follow gardening articles.

Gardening with Children

Very lively site for kids, families and schools, with interactive classroom, allotment plot, garden & activities. Free membership offers free downloads, comps, discounts and more.

Kids in the Garden

Simple gardening projects, child-friendly gardens, activities & growing: lots of great stuff!

Kids Gardening

“For kids to learn through gardening, engaging their natural curiosity & wonder by providing inspiration, community know-how & resources.” Education resources & gardening toolbox. US site.

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Preserved Gardens

Pressed flower images, flower pressing tutorials, and instructions for dying, pressing & other uses of dry flowers.

Reckless Gardener

Online gardening magazine; garden news, visits, shows and features including month-to-month garden diary.

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RHS Campaign for School Gardening

Fab site with loads of resources – projects, lesson plans, info sheets, H&S and risk assessments, seasonal activities, tools, month-by-month guide to edible school gardens & more.

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RHS Royal Horticultural Society

“Enriching everyone’s life through plants, making the UK a greener, more beautiful place.” Gardening advice, courses, events, campaigns. Family activities & fab list of mostest plants – from yuckiest plant to tallest tree!

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Wild About Gardens

A collaboration between the RHS and The Wildlife Trusts to celebrate wildlife gardening. Useful guides to downloads about bats, bees, worms and hedgehogs & RHS links.

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Wildlife Gardening Forum

Explaining how important gardens are for wildlife, human health & wellbeing, and for a sustainable future, with an introduction to ‘garden science’, practical advice, the basics of wildlife gardening, benefits and more.

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WFGA Women’s Farm & Garden Association

For anyone (men & women) interested in gardening. Make gardening friends, visit gardens, attend workshops, get discounts, and Work and Retrain As a Gardener Scheme.

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Yard Care Gurus: ultimate beginners guide to gardening with kids

A US shop site for garden tools who’ve produced this great guide covering many aspects, including benefits, budgets, what to grow,  tools you’ll need, how to get your school involved, and benefits to children with special needs.

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BBC Dig In

Encouraging the nation to grow their own grub with help every step of the way from ‘plot to plate’. KS2 lesson plans & worksheets for little ones.

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Countryside Classroom

Where teachers can find and access the resources, places to visit and people to ask that will support their teaching about food, farming and the natural environment.

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Dig My Plot

Friendly & higgledy-piggledy but very useful and informative site about growing fruit and vegetables organically.

Fungi 4 Schools

Loads of curriculum-linked teaching resources and activities on growing mushrooms, from the British Mycological Society.

Garden Fresco

Comprehensive step-by-step guides showing you how to grow a large range of fruit, vegetables and herbs, advice & tips for beginners & experts, plus month by month jobs in the garden & recipes for surplus produce.

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Garden Organic: schools resources

Practical advice & activities on how to start & maintain an organic food-growing garden. Quick-reference Growing Instruction Cards, activity sheets, wildlife projects, planning advice & more.

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Grain Chain

The story of grain-based food – from farm to mill to plate. Curriculum-linked teaching materials, worksheets, videos, recipes, etc on farming, milling and baking.

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Grow Your Own Potatoes

Everything you need to know to grow some spuds! Loads of factsheets, info, recipes, activities, teacher resources & extra info for children with special educational needs.

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Incredible Edible Todmorden

Inspirational town where the community grows food in public spaces for anyone to pick & share – has grown a global movement!

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National Vegetable Society

Society for enthusiasts – novices & experts – who want to advance, gain, give advice and enjoy growing and/or exhibiting vegetables.

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Orchard Network (people’s trust for endangered species)

Working to conserve traditional orchards and the wildlife that lives in them – network of local and community orchards.

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Seeds, Soup & Sarnies

Helping people across the UK to set up their own community planting, growing, cooking, sharing and eating groups.

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Excellent & informative blog site about urban homesteading on a budget.

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Tomato Zone

Free interactive resources for children aged 5-16+, nutritional info, games, activities, teachers resources, how to grow your own tomatoes, etc, from the British Tomato Growers Association.

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Grow Veg

Recommended! Dedicated to helping you grow your own fresh fruits & vegetables. Sections include: garden planner, journal, guides, GrowVeg.TV, plants and pests.

World Carrot Museum

A virtual museum whose mission is to educate, inform and amuse visitors through the collection, preservation, interpretation and exhibition of objects relating to the carrot.

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British Herbal Medicine Association

Promotes high standards and encourages wider knowledge and recognition of the value of herbal medicine. Interesting which herbal medicine is right for me? section.

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Herb Expert

Very comprehensive and interesting reference on growing, using and cooking herbs.

Herb Research Foundation

“Helping to educate the world about herbs. We offer solid science and informed opinion, for free.”

Herb Society

Dedicated to encouraging the appreciation and use of herbs in cooking, gardening, cosmetic; historical and medicinal uses.

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Herbaholics Herbarium

Hugely comprehensive blog site & calendar of jobs to do – everything herbal is here! Lovely section on sensory herb gardens for children.

Jekka’s Herb Farm

Jekka McVicar is known as ‘the queen of herbs’. Her herb farm includes a Herbetum with 300 different culinary herbs. Open days & events.

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National Institute of Medical Herbalists

Professional body representing herbal practitioners – what is herbal medicine? and find a herbalist sections.

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bgen Botanic Gardens Education Network

Specialist support & training network for professionals working in education related to plants & the natural world. Jobs, training, conferences, and a range of resources, some free, some available for £10 annual membership.

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Chelsea Physic Garden

“Dedicated to demonstrating the medicinal, economic, cultural & environmental importance of plants to the survival & well-being of humankind.”

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Essential British Gardens

Find botanical and show gardens, arboretums and plant nurseries to visit near you. Also event listings.

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Garden Museum

“Capturing what gardens mean to people, in a collaborative forum of activities, debate, collections and archives.”

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Kew Royal Botanic Gardens

“The global resource in plant and fungal knowledge, and the world’s leading botanic garden.” Access to Kew’s data and resources.

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National Garden Scheme

“Garden owners open their exceptional gardens to the public for good causes, giving people unique access to some of Britain’s most beautiful, memorable gardens for just the cost of a cup of tea & a slice of cake.”

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Parks & Gardens UK

Free, accurate & inspiring information on historic parks, gardens and designed landscapes. Useful page of curriculum links & classroom projects.

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BSBI Botanical Society of Britain & Ireland

‘For everyone who cares about the wild plants of Britain and Ireland… promoting the study, understanding and enjoyment of botany.’ Useful section with helpful hints on getting started in botany.

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First Nature: Wildflower Garden

Pictures, identification details & habitat guides to 650 wildflower species in the countryside in Britain and Europe, with plant family galleries, hotspots of botanical brilliance, maps, species lists and links.

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‘Speaking up for our wild flowers, plants & fungi. From the open spaces of our nature reserves to the corridors of government, celebrate their beauty, and protect their future.’ Research, policy-level campaigning & education.

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Plants For A Future

Research & info on ecologically sustainable horticulture featuring 7000 edible, medicinal & otherwise useful plants – search for plants, info on habitats, garden design & planting tips, and info on woodland gardening.

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The Wildflower Garden

‘Celebrating wildflowers and helping you grow them in your own garden’ – includes tips for kids & encouraging wildlife. From Plantlife.

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Wild About Plants

‘Explore the nature on your doorstep and get to know the many wild plants you find there.’ Resources (including bees, habitat guides, investigations & family activities), events & projects. From Plantlife.

See also: city farms, school farms & farm education links tab on Farms & Animals links page

Children & Nature Network: green schoolyards

Research & project report on a green schoolyard initiative, plus some great infographics on the benefits of greening your school.

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Countryside Classroom

Resources, places to visit & school support on food, farming & the natural environment. Amazing range of free resources covering all Key Stages and aspects of the curriculum.

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An international award programme that guides schools on their sustainable journey, providing a framework to help embed these principles into the heart of school life.

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Food Growing Schools: London partnership

Food growing expertise, information & support aiming to inspire & equip every school to grow their own food. Lots of good resources including advice, activity sheets & termly themed activity packs.

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Fungi 4 Schools

Loads of curriculum-linked teaching resources and activities on growing mushrooms, from the British Mycological Society.

Garden Organic: schools resources

Practical advice & activities on how to start & maintain an organic food-growing garden. Quick-reference Growing Instruction Cards, activity sheets, wildlife projects, planning advice & more.

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Great Grub Club

Free downloadables & KS1 & 2 lesson plans: Grow It! gardening & growing activities and other healthy living resources for children, parents & teachers, from the World Cancer Research Fund.

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Open Futures: Grow It resources

Linking learning & life. A CPD programme for teachers focused on skills and enquiry-based curriculum incorporating gardening, cooking, film and P4C.

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Outdoor Classroom Project

US programme aiming to educate teachers, administrators, and parents about the value of outdoor play for children’s development. Lots of research, policy documents & other resources.

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RHS Campaign for School Gardening

Free welcome pack & lots of support and resources for starting a school garden, from funding, planning and growing to lesson plans in all subjects.

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School Food Matters

Campaigns for fresh sustainable food in schools and promotes food education through cooking, growing and visits to farms.

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Real Seed: Seed-Saving Instructions

How to save the seeds of the veg you grow – lots of useful detail, also available as a Creative Commons booklet to download/print and share.

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Seed Savers

Global network of seed savers – join groups, watch more than 1500 useful videos, info on school food gardens & more.

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The Seed Site

‘A website devoted entirely to seeds – collecting, storing, sowing, germinating and exchanging seeds, with pictures of seeds, seedpods and seedlings (and a bit of botany!).’

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Vegetable Seed Saving Handbook

Complete, free seed-saving instructions. Thorough and fascinating – everything you need to know on what, why, how & when – a work of love!

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