Bees flying into the bee hive

Our story

At Earthworks, we support people with learning disabilities, alongside volunteers, to manage 3.5 acres of beautiful eco-gardens in St Albans, through the practice of social and therapeutic horticulture.

We grow fruit and vegetables using organic methods and build wildlife habitats using traditional techniques. Over the years, we have transformed waste land into beautiful eco-garden; maintaining a focus on sustainability in everything we do.

Our pilot project, Earthworks on Wheels, empowers Earthworkers to help the wider community by using the skills they have learned at Earthworks to care for gardens belonging to vulnerable people.

Extensive consultation with service users, carers and social services revealed land-based activity to be the most popular creative occupation. After five years’ preparation and consultation, we leased a two-acre site of waste ground in Hixberry Lane, St Albans from the District Council.

Since 1995, our Earthworkers, supported by staff and volunteers, have transformed waste land into 3.5 acres of beautiful and flourishing eco-gardens including habitat, production and sensory spaces as well as a purpose built eco-building. Supported by volunteers, local schools and community groups, we are people of all abilities learning and working together. We are involved in a number of projects both onsite and in the community.


Earthworks established, for people of all abilities to learn and work together


We plant our woodland and heritage orchard


We establish our propagation area and wildflower meadow


Our stall on St Albans Farmers’ Market begins


We install a wind turbine and solar PV panel. We construct the Millennium Maze in Highfield Park.


We erect a new metal site building to replace a wooden building destroyed by fire.


Market Garden project begins with the renovation of our polytunnel.


Charcoal burning and willow workshops begin. We receive a Green Pennant award.


We build a straw bale/cob building onsite, and erect a wildlife totem pole at the Millennium Maze in Highfield Park.


Earthworks receives the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.


We build our woodworking workshop


We complete our oak-framed eco-building and name it ‘The Warren’ in memory Lynette Warren, our long-standing trustee


We hold our first Christmas fair


Earthworkers begin growing in their own 1m-square plots.


Earthworks on Wheels wins funding from The Funding Network to begin a rolling pilot


We design and build our beautiful sensory garden


During lockdown, we support our Earthworkers remotely with our successful Stay at Home & Grow project