Earthworkers digging a flowerbedWhat we do

We support people with learning disabilities - known as Earthworkers – and volunteers to manage 3.5 acres of beautiful eco-gardens in St Albans.  Our discipline is called social and therapeutic horticulture.

We grow using organic methods. We build wildlife habitats using traditional countryside skills. Over 25 years we have transformed waste land into beautiful eco-gardens. We focus on sustainability in everything we do.

Our pilot project, Earthworks on Wheels, empowers Earthworkers to go into the community to use skills learned at Earthworks to care for the gardens of vulnerable people.

Onsite workshops for children and young people with learning disabilities, and our summer scheme for young adults, offer purposeful activities and an education in horticulture.

We engage with our local community through our monthly stall on the St Albans' Farmers Market, where we sell our produce. At our seasonal events and workshops, we champion social inclusion, protection of the environment, and sustainable living.

What is social and therapeutic horticulture?

Social and therapeutic horticulture is a recognised, evidence-based model combining three elements: nature, social interaction and meaningful activity. Together they lead to many beneficial outcomes.

Green Care: benefits from three elements

Our impact

Skilled staff support Earthworkers to experience:

  • increased horticulture/life skills;
  • sense of purpose;
  • responsibility;
  • confidence and achievement;
  • social contact;
  • inclusion and belonging;
  • citizenship;
  • reduced stress;
  • boosted physical and mental wellbeing.

By engaging with our wider community, we champion social inclusion, protection of the environment, and sustainability.