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Running dates



2:00 – 5:00 pm


13th March 2024

Running Length

4 Weeks

If you are between the ages of 16-25, seeking asylum in Bristol or a refugee, and wanting to spend time outdoors, this project is for you!


Come witness the beginning of spring and create a food forest with us at Strawberry Lane community garden.

What will the programme be like?

Over four afternoons, you will have a chance to:

  • Do some gardening and create a food forest made of perennial fruit bushes, fruit trees, vegetables and herbs.
  • Create habitats for local wildlife (reptile hibernation homes, bird boxes, dead hedges that can be nesting spots for birds, insects, amphibians and small mammals like hedgehogs).
  • Do some whittling and woodworking as part of the habitat creation and make signs for the food forest.
  • Connect to nature through different activities and games.
  • Cook a snack (like quesadillas) and eat together.

Everything will be an invitation, and you will get to choose whether you want to take part in any activity. If you are just wanting to spend time outdoors, you are still welcomed to join!

How does this relate to mental health?

Spending time in nature can create a sense of wellbeing and belonging, and can help us cope with difficult feelings and experiences.

This programme is for young people who are seeking asylum or refugees in Bristol as we want to make nature and land accessible to young people who might not otherwise have access to nature or land. We hope that during these four sessions, the experience of being in nature together will create a sense of belonging and connection to each other and to this land.

After these 4 weeks, you will be welcome to come back to Strawberry Lane community garden and join the Birch Collective’s youth sessions on Thursday afternoons all year round, to continue to make the garden yours or just to hang out outdoors 🙂

If you have any questions or would like to talk through anything, get in touch with our Nature Works Coordinator, Max – you can drop them an email ( or a text (07943756151). They will get back to you as soon as they can – they work Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, so they’ll only be able to answer on those days.

If transport is an issue to get to Strawberry Lane, also get in touch with Max!

Access Info

Sessions will take place at Strawberry Lane Community Garden. The Birch Collective are working on creating proper paths, but at the minute, it is a grassy, flat path into the site. There is a covered area with a flat deck. The access to this shelter is up a gentle slope on a woodchip pathway. The middle of the site is flat, and much of the rest is on gentle slopes. There is a compost toilet on site, which, unfortunately, is not wheelchair accessible. During the sessions, there will always be hot drinks available, and if it is cold, we will light a fire. There are chairs all over the site, so you will be able to rest in different areas.



About The Birch Collective

The Birch Collective is a social enterprise that was founded in response to the sense of acute isolation many people were experiencing whilst social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Their founding belief was that the isolation people were experiencing could be combatted effectively via the development of connections with the natural world, and spending time in a community of people with a shared interest in being outdoors and learning a range of practical skills, from traditional craft and handwork to ecologically sensitive food growing and conservation techniques.

They have a passion for creating activities and experiences that are accessible to everyone, no matter your background or experience, particularly if you are finding traditional mental health support inaccessible.

Together, we believe a connection to nature should be available to all.

Nature Sanctuary will be run at Strawberry Lane community garden by Nature Works Coordinator Max (they/them), and both Ro Fry (She/her) and Tim George (He/him) from The Birch Collective.



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