Nature Works is the name of the nature and horticulture-based wellbeing projects we run at OTR. At Nature Works we believe that connecting to people, place and planet is essential in supporting your health.
Nature Works engages young people in a range of nature-based therapeutic practices and offers opportunities to take action to protect our planet – and feel hopeful for its future!
People of all ages say they get a great deal out of being outdoors. Spending time in beautiful, tranquil places is in itself very calming and stress-reducing. Alongside this, trying new things, gaining new skills and learning ways to relax in the outdoors can be hugely uplifting and provide an invaluable opportunity to improve our confidence, self esteem and resilience.
We have teamed up with New Roots Garden to develop our nature-based work. This is a beautiful green oasis in the middle of the city, founded over 10 years ago by a group of volunteers as a community garden (and is still run by volunteers to this day). Over the years it has acted as a safe space for many groups, particularly refugees and asylum seekers.
New Roots Garden drop-in (13-25 year olds)
The best way to begin your involvement with Nature Work will be to attend one of our drop-in sessions at the New Roots Garden. This will run every Tuesday (rain or shine!) between 4-7pm. Expect to meet regular and experienced OTR staff and volunteers in a relaxed and friendly environment. Activities you can expect will be as varied as pizza-making and natural building, to mindfulness practices, vegetable growing, pickling and preserving. Equally, just being in the outdoors, around a fire (with a cuppa!) is also very much encouraged. No previous experience needed whatsoever!
Contact number: Tim on 07496 862 533
Nature Works counselling
Counselling at OTR’s Nature Works provides an opportunity to receive one-to-one counselling outdoors. For some people it feels less intense to have counselling outdoors rather than in a room.
This kind of counselling helps you explore and understand thoughts, feelings and behaviours, approach the challenges you might be facing, and discover new strengths. This could happen as we either sit, walk or engage in the natural surrounding or an allotment activity – if it rains, there is shelter!
The therapeutic work is done in a three-way relationship between you, the therapist and nature. Nature can also help us be with and hold the intensity of difficult feelings.
Sometimes we can understand what is going on inside of ourselves by looking outside into the mirror of our natural surroundings. There are many studies that show being outdoors and tuning all of our senses in to our natural world improves both mental and physical health, helps increase our self-esteem, feel more present in body and better connected to our surroundings. This can help to quieten down a busy mind or negative self-talk, and we also believe that being in nature can refresh and restore us and help us feel more calm.
Nature Works address:
The address for the garden is New Roots @ Speedwell Allotments, Speedwell Road, BS5 7SB. The path to the garden runs between numbers 44 and 46 Speedwell Road. [See map below]
How to get there:
If you are travelling by bus the numbers 6 and 7 stop just a short walk away from the allotment and run every 15 minutes or less from the city centre. There are parking spaces along both sides of the road for those travelling by car.