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A dedicated space including a greenhouse’ has recently been created at Sculthorpe for the reserve’s Social and Therapeutic Horticulture (STH) team. The project aims to provide a “green experience” for adults with mild learning disabilities and/or mental health issues, as well as those who may feel lonely or cut off from society. It is well documented that working with and in a horticultural environment is both relaxing and nurturing.

The team comprises several Sculthorpe Moor volunteers who work on a weekly basis with groups including one from the FitzRoy Centre in Fakenham and also with individuals on a one to one basis. They not only work in the greenhouse plot but also help us in our conservation efforts on the reserve, planting and managing hedges, undertaking clearance work etc. They are also creating a demonstration Wildlife Garden to give visitors to the reserve ideas on how they can make their own garden spaces more wildlife-friendly. The majority of volunteers have been STH trained through the THRIVE organisation, so they can not only provide a fun and meaningful experience but also support the mental well-being of all the group’s members.

The greenhouse was generously purchased by a Hawk and Owl Trust member (and group volunteer) and the land was kindly donated by a local resident. Funding has been secured from North Norfolk District Council for an additional build that will act as a designated restroom and storeroom. Community Action Norfolk funded the Thrive training for volunteers and Fakenham Garden Centre generously contribute equipment and compost to the project.

We are honoured to help facilitate this important work - green therapy at its best!

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