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Horticulture at Stable Futures and Paddocks

Horticulture is the therapeutic use of planting and growing practices. It’s one of a range of nature-based interventions available at Stable Futures and Paddocks.

Our centres provide health, social care and specialist educational services, through a supervised, structured programme of gardening.

For students of all ages, the garden is ripe for discovery. Studying the Land links to a wide range of subjects, beyond obvious connections to science, from art to math, and history to literature, the garden is a great place to offer hands-on exploration of subject matter.

At Stable Futures we offer all year-round interest in planting, growing and with our harvesting programme. Our polytunnels produce flowers and vegetables. Students can learn about healthy eating with our scheme of work ‘growing plant to plate’. 

Foraging in the surrounding woodlands and environments is part of the general learning curriculum at both Paddocks and Stable Futures.

Links to farming, understanding growing plants for animal consumption, understanding ecology and links to environment sustainability is all part of the learning programs provided at our centres.


There are three types of horticulture therapy programs: vocational, therapeutic, and social.

  • Vocational programs work to develop skills and characteristics that will lead to employment. Can include rehabilitation as individuals recover from injury, illness, or disability.

  • Therapeutic programs are designed to assist with recovery with the goal of wholeness and healing.

  • Social programs are focused on gardening as a leisure activity that supports general well-being, increase social exchange and peer connection.

Gardening and spending time outside can have many positive benefits for our mental, physical, social, and emotional health. Outdoor activities can improve mood; lessen depression, anxiety, loneliness, and stress; increase self-esteem; speed disease or illness recovery; and promote a sense of community and connectedness.

The benefits can be very holistic, supporting physical, sensory, psychological, emotional, and social wellbeing. There are benefits of connecting to other living things and making a difference to life around you, such as the plants or vegetables you grow.


Accreditation Available

AQA units Award and Certificates

B tech Level 1 Land Based Studies

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