Back Nature Works

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.

Please note that we are currently unable to run Nature Works drop-ins or counselling sessions in-person due to the circumstances around the Coronavirus. However, we will be running some online sessions from late April exploring nature and wellbeing, and you can sign up to them with the button above. Read more about OTR’s availability here.

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.

New Roots Garden drop-in

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 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.

These drop-ins will run rain or shine and you can 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!

The drop-in sessions are available to 18-25 year olds:

12-4pm, every Tuesday from 25th Feb – 31st March 2020

Then, as the seasons change, so does the time of the drop-in!

4-7pm, every Tuesday from 14th April – 20th October 2020

Contact number if you have any questions: Tim on 07496 862 533


Nature Works counselling

Counselling at OTR’s Nature Works provides an opportunity for 11-18 year olds 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.

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.

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