Muddy Fork - Wellbeing & Mental Health Support

We help people improve their wellbeing and mental health through volunteer conservation and wildlife gardening in Nottinghamshire.

People are changing their lives step by step, doing useful work in supportive company, surrounded by nature at the Muddy Fork garden.

  • People fearful of leaving the house start to enjoy getting out and about
  • People with no purpose start to get satisfaction from voluntary work
  • Silent people start to chat

Seeing people change keeps us working to help it happen.

Muddy Fork gardening
Muddy Fork gardening

Gardening for wellbeing - try it!

Feeling low, stressed, isolated?   Lots of other people are too but we seldom talk about it.  That's why Muddy Fork is here.

Come and volunteer in our garden, with friendly people, and nature all around at the Idle Valley Nature Reserve in Retford.

Have a look at What We Do then Get In Touch to have a look round or give it a try.

Friends and families.  If this might help someone you know, please put them in touch with us.

Planting up a container
Planting up a container

Connecting with the NHS

Gardening for Wellbeing works well together with clinical therapies and as follow up support.

Referrals.  If your client could benefit from exercise outdoors, supportive company and the satisfaction of helping in our garden, please Refer To Us.

Publications and evidence.  To read some of the evidence for nature based therapies have a look at our Publications page.

Garden volunteers
Some of our garden volunteers

Help Us

Tell people about us, lend a hand, make a donation.  Your support keeps us going.  If you like What We Do, find out How You Can Help Us.


Sytner VWG Volunteers Lay Footpath!


The Muddy Fork garden is now graced with a proper, accessible footpath, installed in a day thanks to the magnificent efforts of 20 volunteers from Sytner! Gone are the muddy puddles, the tussocky clumps and the ruts, and we now have a level and smooth surface much more suitable for wheelchair users and people with mobility difficulties. It links the entrance gate with all the major areas of the garden: the poly tunnels, the workshop and Hub and the new raised platform beds. Thanks go to Notts NHS Clinical Commissioning Group for the funding (via BCVS), Ian O’Brien of NWT for driving the mini digger, and most of all Kate Painter, HR manager for VWG Division Sytner Group, for coordinating the volunteers and all the kindnesses!




Muddy Fork has a new donation platform!


Muddy Fork recently signed up with Localgiving to make donations incredibly easy. It also has the Gift Aid option to boost your donation by £2.50 for every £10 donated. This platform replaces MyDonate, which BT recently closed. Why not try out Localgiving on our donation page, or right here! Thanks!



Muddy Fork loses a Support Volunteer, but gains two more!


After several years of dedicated support, Mark has finally realised his dream and set up his own small-holding - abroad! Thank you Mark for all your enthusiasm and graft, at least a million good ideas, and humour so much appreciated by the team. Farewell, and all the very best for your new venture!


Meanwhile, Christine and John join us this week: WELCOME!





Runner Faces Ultra Challenge to Raise Funds!


Mum of three Chantal Kinsley will be running 40 miles in the Dukeries Ultra Marathon to raise funds for  Muddy Fork. Yes, you read that right - 40 miles! Not only is this an incredible distance, but Chantal is still a novice runner! She says: I got into running a couple of years ago, the furthest I've ever ran is a half marathon, so the next logical step is an ultra marathon, right!?

As a dedicated supporter of people with mental health challenges, she appreciates just how beneficial Muddy Fork can be: "I know how invaluable this is for people, from learning new skills, social interaction, meeting new people and feeling part of the community."

Chantal is aiming to raise £500 - you can help her by donating here. And why not cheer her on on the day: 11th of May 2019 in Sherwood Forest. See here for further details. Go Chantal, GO!


Bassetlaw CCG awards generous grant

Muddy Fork are delighted to accept a grant of £1,777 to improve garden accessibility features. What a wonderful way to start 2019. Thank you Bassetlaw CCG! Thanks also to BCVS for facilitating.



Here's Josh Harper of Blyth A1 Moto handing Dom a cheque for £1,000 towards a work shed for our new Team Wellbeing service to businesses.


Thanks very much to Moto In The Community for your support.


Team Wellbeing is a service for employers to help with mental wellbeing at work, team building and community engagement all in one great day out.



Co-op presentation

Thanks very much to The Co-op Local Community Fund, the local Co-op staff and all the Co-op members who chose us as your local cause.








Muddy Fork gazebo

Fabulous New Gazebo!

Thanks very much Yorkshire Building Society Charitable Foundation.










Muddy Fork are featured in new research from the University of Essex, adding more evidence of benefits to mental wellbeing from volunteering with nature.



We are grateful for the generous support of our partner organisations and proud to be working with such great people!

More about our Partners & Sponsors...