Ecotherapy at St Nicks
Ecotherapy is the name given to a wide range of programmes that aim to promote good mental and physical wellbeing through outdoor activity in a natural environment. At St Nicks, ecotherapy is offered through various group activities and is underpinned by one to one mentor support:
- Bearing Fruit (Mondays 1pm-3pm at St Nicks): Be part of the development of a community orchard at St Nicks Nature Reserve. Help us look after our established fruit trees, soft fruit sites and newly planted Yorkshire heritage apple trees. Learn conservation skills such as scything, pruning and creating wildlife habitats.
- Discover Nature (Tuesdays 10am-12pm at St Nicks): Join a safe and nurturing environment in which you can learn more about the natural world. Sessions are seasonally themed and each one provides the opportunity to participate in wildlife-based activities, including nature walks, animal surveys, and art work creation.
- Connect to Nature with Creative Writing (Wednesdays 10am-12pm at St Nicks): The Creative Writing course is run in partnership with York St John University, Converge and the Discovery Hub and take place at St Nicks. Creative writing is used to explore themes in nature and to make new discoveries through observation of the reserve and the changing seasons. Each course starts with a short walk around the reserve followed by an introduction of a theme for the mornings writing. The courses are an exciting way to develop writing styles and skills whilst gaining the benefits of interacting in a green space. Participants are encouraged to keep their own nature journals as part of the course.
- Get Gardening (Thursdays 1-3pm at St Nicks): The Gardening group is run in partnership with York St John University, Converge and the Discovery Hub. Learn how to garden creatively in different settings using a variety of means including the use of a polytunnel, container planting and making the most of smaller spaces. Growing activities will include introducing natural pest control, feeding, plant care, seed collecting and innovative irrigation and will all take place within the gardening space at St Nicks Environment Centre.
- Plot to Plate (Fridays 2-4pm at the Holgate Allotment Site): Help to manage our allotment and learn the principles of organic gardening and the benefits of eating seasonally. The site has raised beds, fruit trees, a variety of vegetables and a wildflower area. Programme runs at the Holgate Allotment Site and takes place all year around.
How it works
- Group activities are led by trained session workers
- All participants receive one to one mentor support alongside group engagement
- Activities occur both on and off site and are free to participants
- Groups are timetabled around the lunch hour encouraging increased social opportunities
- All activities are organised around getting involved with nature as the main focus
- Groups are time limited with opportunities to stay involved longer term through a peer support model
- Join through referral. Referral forms can be posted to you by request or you can download it here. Just fill it in and send to firstname.lastname@example.org
Interested? Want to know more?
Contact Kathy Sturgess on 01904 411821 or email email@example.com
All the info on this page is also available in our downloadable leaftet. The project is funded by the Big Lottery Fund, with additional funding from Purey Cust Trust CIO and Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with Your Consortium.