Brett jordan s T Gxh8a AEZ0 unsplash
A tool helping people explore how gardens and nature can benefit their lives has made a big impact in the year since its launch. In the case of Ann, it’s led to a major reappraisal and significant change.

A proud mum of two boys and a grandmother to three, Ann had a ‘long and happy’ career in education, including being a primary school headteacher.

Ann had a love of nature and gardening that developed as she worked alongside her dad as a child on the veg patch and it carried on as a headteacher where she ran a kitchen garden club for pupils and parents.

‘I have always loved being in nature and in my garden, but I didn’t always prioritise it as much as I should,’ said Ann. ‘Family, work and other life demands always got in the way! I was very aware that I needed to make time for me in green environments, but never quite managed to achieve my goal.

‘Looking back, I know that I would have been a happier person and have led a more balanced life – hindsight as they say is a wonderful thing!’

A love of learning led Ann to do Cultivating Wellbeing and explore how gardens and nature could play a more positive and prominent role.

It was a course where I could spend time focussing on me – a bit of in the moment reflection, shutting out the busy world around me time


Cultivating Wellbeing helped Ann in three ways:

  • She identified her preferred green space is farmland.
  • It led her to write a simple action plan with the goal to spend time outdoors at least once a week on local footpaths around local farmland learning about nature on her doorstep.
  • It surprised her ‘into crystallising my decision to retire’.

The result of doing the course has been not only a change in life direction but that commitment to re-focus her relationship with nature has become a reality, with Ann spending more time outdoors.

‘In these challenging times we have all faced over the last year or more, I have recognised the value for me, and in fact for everyone, of taking time in the outdoors to re-charge and re-frame,’ said Ann, who is now planning to use her retirement to volunteer with a horticultural therapy group and to further her studies in STH with Thrive.

Learn how gardens and nature can support your wellbeing

Find out more
Thrive Learn sign