Scotswood Garden

A tree with the words Scotswood Garden A community Growing Together

Tell us about your organisation (history, aims, vision):

Scotswood Garden was the brainchild of our patron Ed Tylor to bring nature into the heart of our neighbourhood, which is ranked in the highest 10% for multiple deprivation in England (2019).  The Garden was designed as a permaculture garden on the site of an old school playing field in 1995 and now boasts ponds, meadows, woodland, forest gardens, and a kitchen garden. Our mission to inspire and promote learning about nature, the environment and sustainable living, whilst having a positive impact on people‚Äôs health & wellbeing Over the past 27 years the Garden has flourished into a thriving community hub which supports with 3000-4000 people a year and provides a beautiful space for local schools and other organisations to deliver activities.  The Garden is a source of pride for diverse local people and our work is designed to connect people with the natural world to improve mental and physical health, developing confidence,  skills and forging connections. Evaluations by Northumbria and Newcastle Universities show that our work is highly effective.

We deliver a range of services from the Garden and out in our community using nature and other evidence-based  interventions proven to improve health, build connections and develop skills and knowledge.

From the Garden we deliver 5 programmes (Youth, Adults, Older People, Education and Community)  to achieve our aims reaching all sections of our diverse community.

From March 2020 we expanded our services in response to the pandemic delivering a new telephone befriending service, nature-based activity packs, a book and games exchange, soup deliveries and lots more  reaching more people in our community who had never been to the Garden. We have continued with a blended approach of face to face and outreach or remote activities to meet the needs of  people who have been affected by the pandemic and are delivering more outreach in local care homes, schools and other community organisations than ever before.

Excitingly we are in the process of building an eco building using donated shipping containers to expand our services and work with more people and organisations. We have also secured 2 huge glasshouses and 2 large polytunnels and have set up a new community plant nursery to sell affordable plants, give away plants to local people and organisations to make the area a more biodiverse place. Over the next 3 years, we hope to lease a vacant ex college canteen adjacent to the Garden and open a community cafe and shop bringing jobs and training into our area.

plants growing in a polytunnel

Who do you serve? How do they access services?

We serve the whole community in the West End and beyond and work with people aged 1-90. We work in partnership with a lot of different organisations including West End Refugee Service and local schools. All our services are free and we pay travel expenses and provide lunch for our volunteers. 


What are your current projects or services?

We deliver the following 5 programmes:

1. Youth: 5 youth groups a week for 200 1-18-year-olds, school holiday activities, detached youth work, Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Leadership programme, camps and trips. 

2. Adult-Growing Together Project: outdoor volunteering and training for adults 3 days a week. 

3. Older People- Elderberries Project: volunteering 3 days a week, 15 nature-based sessions a year for 50 older people plus therapeutic horticulture sessions for people with dementia and their carers. Outreach sessions in care homes. 

4. Education-Wildlife Superheroes and BREEZE Forest School Projects: Environmental education workshops and forest schools for mental wellbeing to 2000 school children a year and Forest School Leadership training for teachers. We work with schools in the West End and beyond. 

5. Community:  4 large community events a year at the Garden, community plant nursery and our Sticky Business- selling preserves, cordial, honey made from produce we grow. 

Pink flowers

What are your main concerns at the moment?

  1. 1. The climate crisis and the impact on poorer communities all over the world
  2. 2. Cost of living crisis and responding to high demand for our services


Contact details for organisation?

Phone: 0191275 0000