Muddy Fork News


Working within the local community and supplying local businesses with the freshest produce we can is extremely important to us. Not only does it allow people to use 'SUPER' fresh produce in either their shops, café's or kitchens, but it also provides us with the much needed revenue in order to keep our charity running.

Cary Dennis of baRnby's in Blyth is the latest local business to work with us, taking an array of our produce to use in her amazing bistro nights and posh picnics. 

Visit baRnby's website or social media pages to find out more!

Muddy Fork feature in Nature on Prescription Handbook.


Muddy Fork are pleased to have featured within the recently published 'Nature on Prescription' Handbook.

The handbook is the culmination of detailed evidence gathering through a realist review, interviews and workshops with people and organisations involved in providing green social prescribing.

It demonstrates how Nature on Prescription can be used to support people’s mental health, and makes evidence-based suggestions for how to develop and implement a high-quality scheme, in the new social prescribing landscape. It is primarily aimed at providers of group, nature-based interventions that target common mental health conditions, and that can be delivered via social prescribing schemes.

The content will also be of interest to link workers, general practitioners, commissioners and researchers with an interest in social prescribing. Further information and the downloadable handbook is available on the project web page here:

Muddy Fork announced as Charity of the Year!


Muddy Fork are overwhelmed with the news that we have been awarded Charity of the Year by Crags Radio on Saturday the 26th June 2021.

We have worked tirelessly as a charity to keep operating during the global pandemic. Lots of people have suffered with their wellbeing prior to and during this situation and we are proud to have been able to continue offering our invaluable services.

We would like to thank all of those that have supported us through these tough times, and with this news, we are optimistic that great times are coming for the growth of us as a charity and this will enable us to not only continue, but expand the services that we offer.

Thank you! 

Shortlisted for Charity of the Year!


Muddy Fork are delighted to have been shortlisted for Charity of the Year in association with Crags Radio.

There are three charities competing to be crowned with the title and we are hoping that our tireless efforts to keep running throughout COVID, will help us get that title.

Tune into Crags Radio on Saturday June 26th between 3pm and 6pm to find out who the winner is.

Hodsock Priory.


Hodsock Priory have recently had some work undergone on their outdoor ceremony pavilion, creating a quintessential english country garden flower arch to the entry of it.

Our Willow has been added to the twisted hazel arch created by adding in Mondial, white chocolate and antiqua roses plus blossom, ivies and eucalyptus.

We are so proud to have been involved in such a beautiful structure.

Inner Wheel Donate!

The Inner Wheel in Retford have always been incredibly supportive to Muddy Fork. Dot Burton regularly pops down to the garden and we aim to work as closely with them in the future as possible.

This year they have helped us out an incredible amount by providing us with some marvellous picnic tables which have been crafted by local company, P&S Timber.

We cannot thank you enough!

Imperial Tea Rooms

The great local community of Retford keep on supporting us, and it makes us extremely proud to announce that the Imperial Tea Rooms on the Market Square in Retford have now agreed to stock our delicious honey too.

Pop along to get yourself a jar whilst enjoying a coffee and a cake!

Welbeck Farm Shop

We are extremely excited to announce that Muddy Fork have patterned up with Welbeck Farm Shop and you will now be able to source some of our products from them.

The Muddy Fork honey which has always been an extremely popular product is already stocked on their shelves and as we harvest our products, as well as sourcing

from us, you will be able to purchase when you are in their store.

PayPal Outage.

We are currently experiencing an outage with our PayPal service which is having a knock on effect on our donation platform. Currently donations are not possible by our website or TotalGiving (our donation platform) but we hope to try and have this resolved as soon as possible, we will confirm once normal operation has resumed.

Please contact us if you are trying to make a donation and we can assist you to do this in another way until the issue has been resolved.

Community Grant Award.

Muddy Fork are delighted to confirm that we have been awarded with a Community Grant, thanks to Councillors, 

Mike Quigley, Helen Richards, June Evans and Robin Carrington-wilde. 

These funds come at a crucial time for Muddy Fork and we are extremely grateful to all those who donated. We will provide regular updates showing the wonderful work that we carry out with our funding.

Muddy Fork to remain open during lockdown.

To confirm, Muddy Fork will be remaining open during this lockdown, we can safely have up to 15 participants per session. Sessions are running on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. 

We are also accepting new referrals.


If you know of someone who may benefit from Muddy Fork or would like to know more for yourself, please contact us using


Muddy Fork donate last of the Christmas Hampers to Care Homes on Xmas Eve.

Whilst unable to do lots of our traditional activities in the garden this year, it has seen the successful take of the 'Muddy Fork Pantry'.


We have had a large amount of orders for lots of our produce, preserves, honey and beeswax candles. 

Lots of people bought some of our wonderful hampers, and as Christmas Day approached, the final two which had not been sold were donated to Bassetlaw Hospice and St Saviours Care Home.

Muddy Fork & Bike Pedlars combine in Xmas competition.

Once again, Muddy Fork and Richard Carr from Bike Pedlars in Retford came together to do work some charitable magic. Richard is renowned for his generosity and long standing position in the local community, so he approached us to help him reward a young person in the local community with a brand new Mongoose BMX and cycle helmet.

We both decided that given the horrific year that many people have endured through COVID, that we should seek out a young person, who has gone that extra mile, or really helped out.

It was a pleasure to reward this bike to young Ethan, whose parents both working in the NHS.

Muddy Fork brave the elements for The Chequers at Ranby Christmas Market.


2020 has been an incredibly difficult year, so when we were approached by Jamie, the manager at a local village pub, regarding a small socially distanced Christmas Market, we felt this would be the perfect opportunity to just remind people of who we are and what we do.

The event was small to allow for COVID regulations, but went extremely well. The wind and rain did not let off, but people still came out to get some last minute gifts and support the local community.

In a year when small organisations are finding it tough, it is amazing to see the local community doing what they can to help each other out. 


Thanks again Jamie and The Chequers at Ranby.


Andy Burton's Anniversary sees Memorial Bench installed.

Andy Burton attended Muddy Fork for many years, and previously to that attended the Ecominds project. He regularly and attended and worked really hard, he then managed to gain enough confidence to move on to volunteer for the NWT, where again, he became a very respected and valuable member of the team.

As his anniversary was approaching, we managed to gain the help of local businesses 'Retford Greenman Gardening Services', to help prepare the ground and secure the bench in place, 'Lucy Usher Aggregrates' were brilliant with helping us with the gravel and 'Grove Granites' delivered another amazing job with the plaque for the memorial bench. 


Andy's brothers and sister have been to visit the bench and hopefully we have done him proud, with a wonderful and lasting memorial area.


Sessions Resume!


Restrictions on access to the Muddy Fork garden have been removed we are pleased to be able to invite back all our participants, subject to a few continuing restrictions over which we have no control.
While the Nature Centre building remains closed, we have no access to toilets so we are restricting the length of sessions to a maximum of three hours on three days a week.

Mondays : 9.45am to 12.45pm : Overseen by Joy
Wednesdays : 11.00am to 2.00pm : Overseen by Christine and John
Fridays : 9.45pm to 12.45pm : Overseen by Pippa

Local Business Provide Huge Gesture.

Grove Granites Retford gave us a huge surprise when we asked if they'd be able to give us some advice on an entrance stone for the Muddy Fork garden. We contacted them as they were such good sports in the local community pushup challenge, but then they extended their kindness even further and engraved, coloured and installed a centrepiece for our entrance that will last forever.

We simply cannot thank them enough!


Special Thanks.

We would like to say a very special thank you to Retford Athletic Club, Hazelwood Counselling, Mamma Giusi's, Alberto's and The White Lion for their ongoing support and generous donations to our Community Pushup Challenge, which saw over 40 local businesses take part in our event to raise awareness for Mental Health and World Mental Health Day 2020.

Thank You!


Muddy Fork Community Pushup Challenge.

Please watch our Muddy Fork Community Pushup Challenge video below. This combines over 40 businesses in the local area and demonstrates the enthusiastic response we received from the Retford community in support of better mental health.


Please share this video with your family, friends and colleagues!


#25pushupchallenge - Community Support Takes Off!


The fundraiser supporting Muddy Fork and raising awareness about mental health is going incredibly well.


It's been going so well that it's sparked interest and support far beyond Bassetlaw, with many businesses and organisations rising to the push-up challenge. We have been blown away by the donations and kind offers of ongoing support.


Help us raise awareness for mental health and donate here.


Thank you lovely community!

Boots Charitable Trust

Muddy Fork has also been successful in receiving an award of £10,000 from the Boots Charitable Trust: Thank you Boots!
The funds will be used to support the core running costs of our charity as well as much needed tools and equipment.

This will include the essential and overdue rabbit proof fencing, to try and stop them causing chaos in our gardens!
We would also like to thank our grants team for this success.

So, many thanks to Boots UK for the support and generosity, especially during these challenging and difficult times.

The National Lottery Community Fund Award.


Muddy Fork are delighted to announce that The National Lottery Community Fund has awarded us with £10,000 from their Coronavirus Community Support Fund. 

This has allowed us to continue during the pandemic, covering core costs.

Thanks to our grants team for the hardwork involved which resulted in 
this success and the National Lottery Community and the Government for making this available.

Donate for Muddy Fork Fundraiser.


Mental health issues don't just disappear because there's a pandemic, indeed they can be magnified.
Muddy Fork provides a much needed lifeline to some of our participants and whilst COVID has meant our sessions have had to be suspended, we are still providing support (where possible) to our partcipants.

So we need all the help we can get at the moment. Heather is kindly fundraising for Muddy Fork by doing a massive challenge. For twenty-five days, Heather's doing 25 press-ups, every day!

Please follow the link to read more about why Heather's doing the challenge, and then donate and share!

Sessions are sadly still suspended but..


We have a new donation platform!

We've signed up with TotalGiving, which allows 100% of your donation to come to Muddy Fork.

Please also use Gift Aid to increase the value of your donation.


Please check out our new donation page here.

Muddy Fork Sessions Suspended


Due to Government advice about the COVID-19 virus currently going around the World and now appearing locally, all gardening sessions are formally suspended until further notice as of Monday 23rd March 2020.


We understand that this is an exceptionally trying time: the threat is real, the fear is real, isolation is now real; Muddy Fork will do its best to support existing participants (this may prove impossible, but we will try!).


New referrals will still be accepted, but not progressed for the time being.


Please take care and look after yourselves and your loved ones.


Dom Schad, Muddy Fork Director, 23rd March 2020

Do You Shop with Amazon?


Muddy Fork has recently signed up with Amazon Smile, so when you shop with them, just select Muddy Fork as your charity of choice and they'll make a small percentage donation on your behalf. 


The great thing is, it doesn't cost you a penny!


See here for further details about Amazon Smile.

Massive Thanks for Donations!


Muddy Fork would like to say a big heartfelt 'Thank You' for all of the recent donations we have received.

First and foremost, for the donations following Andy Burton’s funeral. He is sadly missed and will always be remembered for his humour and hard graft.

We are also heartened by other’s generosity.  Donations received just from the Christmas and New Year period, which we are able to acknowledge, come from:

Retford Rotary Club, 
Retford Athletics Club, St Saviour’s Church, North Notts Wildlife Group, Just Us Ukulele Group, Retford U3A and the Sutton Art Group.


Thank you all, your fantastic contributions continue to astound and humble us, and help keep us going!


In Memoriam.

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Anna Sewell and Andy Burton.


Anna was a staunch supporter of Muddy Fork right from the very start. She became an invaluable member of the team as policy advisor and Safeguarding Officer. Despite growing infirmity, her last visit to the garden was to test-drive our new pathways for wheelchair accessibility. Goodbye Anna, dear friend: you are sorely missed.


Andy joined the project back in our early Ecominds days, and became a regular hard worker, always with a friendly greeting and warm handshake. We were delighted for you when you moved on to volunteering elsewhere, and so saddened to hear of your early passing. Goodbye Andy, and thanks for being you.

Go-V! Wins National Award for Best Vegan Takeaway!

Go-V! have just won a fantastic award as the best vegan takeaway by Viva.

See their Facebook page here and see the awards in the Viva!Life Magazine, Winter 2019 by clicking here.

They win awards; we supply them with fresh fruit and veg!

Green Prescriptions are excellent value for money, latest report finds.

Wellbeing Benefits from Natural Environments Rich in Wildlife, reviewed the existing literature to investigate whether nature-rich environments had any specific impacts on people's health and wellbeing. The researchers found that environments rich in wildlife, and increasing people's contact with them, resulted in:

  • Improvements to health through increased physical activity.
  • Reductions in stress and anxiety.
  • Improved positive mood and self-esteem.
  • A better and healthier social life.

Check out the full report from Leeds Beckett University with The Wildlife Trusts here.

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 a new platform called '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 closed earlier this summer.

Why not try out Localgiving on our donation page.

Muddy Fork loses a 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, new Volunteers, 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.

Thank you to Moto In the Community.


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.

Thank you to the Co-op Local Community Fund.


Muddy Fork would like to give a huge thanks to the Co-op Local Community Fund, the local Co-op staff and all the Co-op members who chose to use us as your local cause.


The money raised will help keep our Gardening for Wellbeing service free for everyone who's wellbeing would get a boost from garden and conservation volunteering in a friendly and supportive group.

Brand New Muddy Fork Gazebo!


A big thank you to the Yorkshire Building Society Charitable Foundation for funding publicity equipment, including our new, eye catching gazebo. 


Here it is in use in Retford, helping us to spread the word about garden volunteering for mental wellbeing. It was great to chat to so many friendly people.


Thanks also to the Photo Den for the design work, it looks great!

The health and wellbeing impacts of volunteering with The Wildlife Trusts.


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

The report studied six projects, including Muddy Fork (as "Recovery" before we became an independent charity), as well as providing solid evidence for the effectiveness of outdoor volunteering for mental health improvement, the report shows the main motivations of attendees - very useful information for anyone managing a service like Muddy Fork.

Some of the most important findings are:

  • Statistically significant improvements in mental wellbeing

  • 95% of participants with low wellbeing reported an improvement at 6 weeks

  • Wellbeing remains heightened with continued attendance

You can find a link to the report on the Muddy Fork website Publications page.

Chris' Fundraising Marathon.

Chris McGlen ran the 2017 London Marathon to raise funds for us - his very first full marathon!

There's still time to support him with a donation on Chris' Marathon Fundraising Page.

It sounded pretty tough but he made it to the finish.  Congratulations Chris and thanks very much!

Chris' fundraising page is open for donations until 23rd July - make it worth all that training!