Case studies

Marks & Spencer

Workplace team-building horticultural workshop

Marks and Spencer logo

Participants from M&S Head Office gathered one sunny Spring afternoon to work an allotment as a team-building away day. We weeded, pruned, tidied, watered vegetables, harvested and later sat together with a hot brew to reflect on the work. Participants talked of feeling invigorated, glad to break from the desk, forged new connections, where work ideas were hatched, professional friendships built. They reported feeling satisfied, happier, less stressed and more engaged with their team. 

Freedom from Torture

‘Natural growth project’ for refugees suffering from mental ill-health and exclusion

A group of eight refugees met weekly at the charity’s HQ garden to undertake therapeutic horticulture blended with psycho-social support. Across the year each brought their experiences of torture, dislocation, poverty and asylum into the garden where we worked with gardening, nature-based metaphors and the cycles of nature to support recovery. Gradually, each found strength, a path to recovery, new purpose and meaning in their lives through the work.

KCL, SLaM, Chelsea Fringe, Wellcome Trust

‘Taking a turn: a mental health history of hospital gardens’ project

Funded by Wellcome Trust, Nature Studio collaborated with garden historian Dr. Clare Hickman of KCL and psychiatric in-patients of South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust to develop a garden installation for the Chelsea Fringe flower festival on the historic site of the first UK asylum The Bethlem Hospital at Exchange Square, Liverpool Street, London. A spin-off series of workshops from the project were delivered across 22 London primary schools on the theme of ‘gardens and mental health’.