Survey shows gardening provides health boost during Covid

Birmingham charity findings reveal how gardening improves physical and mental health.

Weekly tips and advice to help people enjoy gardening have resulted in improved physical and mental health during Covid-19, a new survey from a Birmingham charity reveals.

The gardening-for-health charity Thrive, based in Kings Heath, started a free gardening club at the beginning of lockdown so subscribers could maximise the wellbeing benefits of spending time in their gardens.

Each week 1,500 club members are sent an e-newsletter with tips, hacks and practical guides to make gardening easier, as well as insights into how activities can directly aid physical and mental health.

Six months on and a reader survey revealed that:

94% felt Gardening Club has helped improve mental health
89% felt Gardening Club has helped improve physical health
76% felt Gardening Club had helped with providing a sense of community during times of isolation.

One subscriber said: “Gardening Club makes me feel part of something. I have always enjoyed my gardening, but it has been a different experience altogether whilst shielding but seeing how others are involved has helped.”

Another commented: “Gardening has become my ‘Happy Hobby’ and I’m okay with that! Thank you Thrive for holding my hand on days when I have a bit of a wobble.”

The survey results show the power of horticulture to improve lives, says Thrive CEO Kathryn Rossiter: “We’ve always known that gardening has tremendous potential to help healing and recovery, but it’s heartening to see that so many people have discovered how it can help them keep healthy during this time of heightened stress and anxiety.”

As well as providing advice and information, Thrive runs therapeutic horticulture programmes at its Kings Heath Park gardens that attract people from across Birmingham and the West Midlands. You can discover more here.

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