Social & Therapeutic Horticulture

Children & Young Adults

Category: Children, mental health

Title: A haven of green space: learning from a pilot pre-post evaluation of a school-based social and therapeutic horticulture intervention with children (2018)


Summary: A study in North West England of school children, aged 9-15, with ‘behavioural, emotional and social difficulties’ examined the effect of monthly therapeutic horticulture sessions over 6 months. Whilst the school reported better mental well-being, within questionnaires the 36 children self-reported worsening well-being. These results perhaps reflect the children completing their feedback on the last day of school. Despite challenges with the study design, this study provides examples of data collection methods suitable for children.

Category: Children, cognitive health, mental health, physical health, therapeutic design

Title: Nature as a healer for autistic children (2019)


Summary: This paper focuses on investigating the potential health and well-being advantages of engaging children with autism in nature. Guidelines for a sensory garden are provided, along with exploration of cognitive, mental and physical benefits of connecting with nature. Practical design elements are examined, along with a sight plan to demonstrate these principles in practice.

Category: Qualitative, Children and Young Adults, Green Prescribing

Title: Exploring the Perspectives of ‘Young Adults’ (18–24) Who Have Been in Formal Care and Their Experiences of Attending a Socially Prescribed Community Allotment Gardening Group (2022)


Summary: “When I am outside, I feel my mind is clearer, [erm] I feel happier it was a world that I could escape to. [Erm] I think I would describe the allotment as a peaceful, calming and relaxing place to be.” This study explored the experiences of young adult care leavers in a community gardening group in the UK. Six participants, aged 18 to 24, were interviewed online about their experiences. The study found that the gardening group provided social belonging, a safe space, a sense of achievement, and benefits from being in nature, enhancing their social connections, self-identity, and well-being.