High Mead Farm therapy garden

by Project Nurture in Ferndown, England, United Kingdom

High Mead Farm therapy garden
Target not met
Flexible funding – this project will receive all pledges made by March 13th 2018 at 7:09pm

To create a new therapy garden at High Mead Care Farm, providing a space to reflect & connect with nature, people & themselves; Ecotherapy.

by Project Nurture in Ferndown, England, United Kingdom

Project Nurture - a charitable organisation

We believe in the power of the natural environment to promote, transform and enrich people and society.

We are a charitable organisation dedicated to utilising the power of the natural environment for the good of society, whether through design, research, specialist consultancy, teaching, or provision of natural environments for society.

We design and provide green spaces for good causes in society who might otherwise not have access.  We undertake research into the effect of the natural environment on people, organisations and society.  We aim to disseminate our expertise and findings via research publications; design, horticulture, ecotherapy and well-being consultancy for businesses and organisations; specialist training; conferences and seminars.

Our garden at High Mead Farm

High Mead Farm is a therapeutic working farm in Wimborne, Dorset. They bring positive change to those who get involved, irrelevant of background or disability. High Mead Farm offers the peace and tranquility needed for sustainability in overall happiness, rehabilitation and recovery along with gaining new practical skills.  We have been asked to design and create a new eco-therapeutic garden for them where there was an inherited but overgrown ‘area of planting’!  This will provide a space to reflect, connect with nature, undertake therapy, and to find restoration to the body and mind.  The area is big - just over 40m (130ft) long and 20m (65ft) wide!

Our plans for the garden


see our concept drawing in detailed pdf

We need to create a therapeutic and sensory garden, which is both suitable for the needs of the staff, co-farmers and volunteers, and sensitive to the farm and rural setting in which it sits. Our design solution is:

An accessible path (suitable for 1 wheelchair user and one standing person side-by-side), which divides and rejoins in several places, provides a variety of routes through and around the garden to explore.    Relocating existing silver birch (Betula pendula) trees to elsewhere on the farm land allows space and greater flexibility for planting a wider variety of new trees and shrubs that are better suited to a therapeutic sensory garden and to this design.  The pergola and willow tunnels provide height and shade/shelter, as well as seasonal & sensory interest and an element of fun.  Beech (Fagus sylvatica) hedges act as a windbreak and help to break the garden up into ‘rooms’ and different areas, whilst still maintaining a sense of continuity through the garden.  These rooms will provide a sense of privacy and allow for different planting styles and views.  The planting styles will vary, and deliberately include both neat and orderly planting, as well as more relaxed planting with grasses and herbaceous plants.  This deliberate mix of planting styles allows people to explore their own thoughts, emotions and behaviors through the garden, or simply as a space to enjoy without deeper reflection.  There will also be strong links to native plants (for example the beech hedging), which will help tie the garden into the farm landscape.  The aviary, landscaped in a Japanese style to look like a hill landscape, adds movement, sound and life, and encourages interaction with animals and the garden at the same time.  It also provides and demonstrates an environment which promotes good welfare and a happy life for the rescue birds.  Both covered and open seating areas mean that the garden can be used in all weathers.  A swing seat will be incorporated into one of these seating areas for those that find the gentle movement therapeutic.  A variety of sculptures, including smaller sculptures incorporated into the planting (in addition to the main ones indicated on the drawing), provide artistic exploration of several themes, such as the history of the farm, personal motivation and reflection on life.  Wildlife is encouraged and habitats such as the pond, trees and variety of plants should ensure that the garden is a very healthy and active space for them.  It is intended that additional bird feeders and nest boxes (not indicated on the drawing) will also be provided. 

How we will achieve this

We want the farm and all its volunteers and co-farmers to feel a real sense of pride, achievement and community spirit from the garden, and by them being an integral part of its whole creation from beginning to end we will achieve this.  To create this garden, we will therefore work together with all the volunteers and co-farmers at the farm, teaching and guiding them in garden creation and landscaping skills.  It will be a big community effort and massive achievement for all to create the garden!  High Mead Farm community will also help design and make some of the sculptural pieces, and structural pieces.  We will use recycled and repurposed materials as much as possible in keeping with the ethos of the farm and of Project Nurture.  This will also mean that we can create a beautiful space very economically.    We need to raise approximately £30,000 to realise this dream.  Please help us!

The money you donate will be used to purchase all the materials and plants needed for the garden, and the hire of machinery (mini digger etc)

Thank you very much


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£50 or more

Personal thank you card

You will receive a handwritten thank you card and photograph of the garden, and a cup of tea at the farm whenever you come to visit us!

Let's make 'High Mead Farm therapy garden' happen

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