Myplace spread seeds of hope

The Myplace team have been providing local communities with free growing kits during the lockdown period to help people connect with wildlife at home.

Amid the anxiety, frustration and loneliness brought on by 2020, the Lancashire Wildlife Trust have been growing a glimpse of hope.

With a kind donation of peat-free compost from our friends at Dalefoot Farm, we have been providing individuals across the North West with a gardening kit to help lift the lockdown spirits.

Here at the Lancashire Wildlife Trust we know how beneficial connecting with nature can be. Through our ecotherapy programme, Myplace, we regularly get people involved in outdoor activities like gardening to help them connect with nature and improve their health and wellbeing.

Hawwaa with Growing Kit

Hawwaa with Growing Kit

We quickly adapted our offer to be able to provide free weekly sessions online but knew that, particularly during such a difficult time, there was more to be done.

Andy Mather, Myplace project Officer said: “The growing project has been a really successful way of keeping people in touch with nature within their own home environment. For many people it has been their first adventure into the world of growing food or flowers and it has been wonderful to hear from them about their joy of watching the magic of a seed turning into a plant and caring for it as it grows.

Plants not only give us a connection with nature but also give us something to care for and even keep us company during difficult times. Many people have described how the first thing they do is come downstairs and see what change or growth has happened over night.

Ghazanfar Akram and family with their growing kit

Ghazanfar Akram and family with their growing kit

With special thanks to Dalefoot Farm for providing us with peat-free compost, we were able to produce over 100 sustainable growing kits to distribute amongst our participants and partners.

Nurturing a fragile seed and watching as it bursts into life has provided a source of joy, pride and confidence to our participants outside of their weekly sessions with us. We made sure that the growing packs included seeds that were easy to grow and either edible or beneficial to wildlife, encouraging participants to continue to put into practise what they learn with us each week.

Professor Jane Barker – Founder of Dalefoot Composts said: “Gardening and the connection with nature are so important during difficult times. We at Dalefoot are so pleased to donate compost for the kits - I’m sure there’s been much successful planting and growing along with great benefits to individuals, families and of course nature.”

We are also delighted to have been able to provide Youth Action Blackburn - a charity which offers a wide range of services to young people - with 60 growing kits to share with the young people and families they are currently supporting.

Amar Abbass from Youth Action

Amar Abbass from Youth Action

Meg Gault from Youth Action said: “The children really enjoyed getting their hands dirty, and planting their seeds - they were all very excited to make egg and cress sandwiches and use the coriander for mum’s yummy curries!”

Through this small gesture, we hope that we have been able to provide a little bit of wild inspiration to encourage more people to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life.

We are still offering our free online ecotherapy sessions which are open to both adults and young people. If you think you or someone you know might be able to benefit from our work, please visit our webpage or get in touch with us directly by email: myplace@lancswt.org.uk or phone: 07738 102274.

Find out more about Myplace