Community garden for wellbeing for Canterbury Christ Church University

Community wellbeing garden for Canterbury Christ Church University. I have the great pleasure in working with the University estates’ department and Kent Enterprise Trust to create a haven for students, staff and visitors with the provision of mental and emotional support. Although most interaction is talking based support, the Community Oasis [wellbeing] Garden (COG) will aim for a more lateral approach to wellbeing that includes signposting to services that may not be directly related to mental health but nevertheless have a positive impact.

This project will aim to provide a garden space to promote wellbeing and environmental / ecological awareness for the benefit of staff, students and the wider local community. The garden currently has an enclosed fruit tree orchard, a large enclosed lawn area suitable for wellbeing / community / ecology events, six bee colonies and has the potential for an allotment area for a shared food and gardening plot. The new Concept Plan will introduce native hedgerows, a woodland walk and woodland foraging area, natural ecosystems and biodiverse planting, using predominantly native plants. A new covered outdoor teaching area will provide space for horticultural sessions, a polytunnel will extend the growing season, and using natural positioning practices, private and secluded seating areas will be provided for one-on-one sessions, or for private personal reflection. The community wellbeing garden will be both a hub for activity and a quiet space for psychological and emotional wellbeing.

Oasis Garden

Community garden for wellbeing, Canterbury Christ Church University, Mark Lane Designs

Community garden for wellbeing, Canterbury Christ Church University, Mark Lane Designs

Mark says,

this is a wonderful opportunity to create a community garden, to provide a comfortable, relaxed space for group work, meditation and socialising particularly for those with social anxiety. It will forge stronger bonds with residents of the City of Canterbury and enhance psychological and emotional wellbeing through a reconnection with nature