Muddy Fork was established in November 2016 but our mental health garden project began six years earlier.
In 2010 the project was created by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust at their Idle Valley nature reserve, one of 130 Ecominds projects, funded by Mind with a Big Lottery Fund grant.
In 2011, Idle Valley Ecominds wins NWT Green Guardian Award, Environmental Community of the Year. Speaking at the award ceremony David Bellamy said: “Idle Valley Ecominds stands out because of their tireless work and visionary activities that increase the self-esteem of people in need of support, whilst caring for the environment of Nottinghamshire”.
On 16th September 2012 BBC Countryfile featured the Idle Valley Ecominds project to showcase green therapy.
On a very wet summer day in 2013 Bill Oddie OBE visited Idle Valley, spending several hours chatting with the Ecominds group and looking around the garden. Having experienced severe depression over a number of years, “I am amazed,” he said, “that during my many visits to hospitals and GP practices over the years nobody ever mentioned doing something like this”.
In October 2012 Idle Valley Ecominds wins Bassetlaw Physical Activity and Health Partnership ‘Inclusive Schemes’ Award.
In 2013 Mind published a case study on the Idle Valley project: Case Study: Idle Valley Ecominds – Creating a person-centred service and strengthening participant decision making.
In 2015 the project (now renamed "Recovery") wins Nottinghamshire Post’s Environmental Community of the Year award.
During July 2016 the project was regretfully closed by Notts Wildlife Trust after a long struggle to sustain funding.
In November 2016 Muddy Fork starts up as an independent charity to build on the success of the original Ecominds/Recovery project. Notts Wildlife Trust become our partners, providing the existing garden and facilities. The original team of support volunteers stay with us, we re-start the gardening service and begin fundraising.
Local people were wonderfully generous in their support, donations and a number of small grants we quickly managed to get up and running.