There is growing evidence that contact with the natural environment, including food growing and wildlife engagement, provides multiple benefits in education, health and community cohesion.
Over 20% of Hackney's school population has special educational needs, the most common being behavioural, social and emotional difficulties. The term 'nature deficit disorder' has been used to link these problems with a lack of contact with the natural environment, particularly in urban areas. Children today spend less time in natural places than previous generations. Our gardening activity promotes greater use of outside spaces and natural habitats.
During the summer, weekly sessions take place in Springfield Park where children learn how to grow fruits, herbs and vegetables from seed. Environmental activities are incorporated into the sessions introducing them to the natural world and the importance of using natural resources such as energy, water and waste in a sustainable way.