Growing reports & research
Studies, findings and reports into the effectiveness and benefits of growing and gardening projects for a range of different groups.
Reports & research documents, arranged in chronological order, most recent at the top
The Growing Well Project - Case Studies
Evidence of the wellbeing benefits of community growing - research, statistics and articles. Inspirational case studies from community gardens, city farms and growing projects. Social Farms & Gardens.
Gardening can help improve self-esteem, calm anger and ease depression, study finds
‘Researchers say councils should create more allotments, arguing this would help keep the general population healthy and boost the British economy.’ The Independent, 30 October 2015.
Nature and mental health: about ecotherapy programmes
Explains the mental health benefits of nature and gives tips and ideas to try. Also provides information on formal ecotherapy programmes, and where to find out more. MIND.
Let Nature Feed Your Senses: Sensory-rich visits connecting people to nature & food
An England-wide, Access to Nature flagship project that sought to encourage a life-long love of nature. It provided memorable, sensory-rich encounters with nature, food and farming for people unable to visit the countryside - older people, people with disabilities, those living in the most disadvantaged areas, and schools that are unable to access the countryside. Natural England Access to Nature Learning Papers, 2014.
Food Growing in Schools Taskforce
Indepth report including sections on the benefits of food growing in schools, what makes a school an effective food growing school, and recommendations. Food Growing Schools, London partnership, March 2012 (pdf).
Exploring the well-being outcomes of tree planting activities for young people
The research examined young people’s memories, experiences of, and feelings towards tree planting. Part of the Good From Woods Project, 2012.
Benefits of Gardening for Children
"Gardening provides different forms of engagement for children, including designing, planting, and maintaining gardens; harvesting, preparing, and sharing food; working cooperatively in groups; learning about science and nutrition; and creating art and stories inspired by gardens. The studies summarized below have been selected because they include control groups, pre- and post-measures, well controlled correlations, or in-depth qualitative analyses." Fully referenced. Children, Youth and Environments Center for Research and Design (US), Feb 2009.
Gardening as a therapeutic intervention in mental health
This article describes why one low-secure unit chose to initiate a horticultural therapy project and organise it as a ‘workers’ cooperative’.The therapeutic benefits of gardening are explored, particularly focusing on the social benefits. The article also discusses the issue of hope, which is an intrinsic requirement in gardening. Nursing Times, 11 November 2008.
Childhood in the Garden: A Place to Encounter Natural and Social Diversity
Inspiring report exploring the important role of the garden in children’s learning, with headings such as: a place for play and inquiry, a place to take safe risks, a place to develop diverse relationships, a place for developing community, a place to widen social views. Head Start ECLKC, 2008.
Gardening in Schools: a vital tool for children’s learning
Investigating the role of gardening in children’s wellbeing, learning and overall development, following the launch of the RHS Campaign for School Gardening. 2007.
Growing Minds: The Effects of a One-year School Garden Program on Six Constructs of Life Skills of Elementary School Children
"The goal of this study was to assess changes in the life skill development of elementary school students participating in a 1-year school garden program." American Society for Horticultural Science, Jan 2005.