Barrow Voice

www.barrowvoice.co.uk    First Publised 1975
Issue 163 Spring 2021
3,234 copies published quarterly and delivered FREE to all households in Barrow upon Soar

Spring wellbeing

One of the many positives, and we do have to find and focus on the positives where we can, of the lockdowns of 2020 was the deeper connection many of us found in nature through our gardens and allotments. The very act of being out in nature, feeling the sun on their skin; the wind in their hair; and their hands in the earth will have brought many people a sense of connection and calm they didn’t realise they could find amongst the uncertainty and fear.

Being responsible for the wellbeing of plants and produce may have given many a sense of purpose, distraction and community that they had not before appreciated; along with the understanding of why the love of their garden and allotment is so strong. Is this why we are seeing so many photos of nature and gardens on social media? Gone are the photos of nights out (well that’s fairly obvious why) and instead are the pictures of delightful dahlias and mighty marrows. It’s almost as if we have been allowed to peek inside the secret world of the gardeners and allotment growers and have realised they had it right all along.

In September 2020, the National Garden Scheme (NGS) published a new report which highlighted the importance of gardens and outdoor spaces to the physical and mental health and wellbeing of us all. It identified that gardening not only helps us to keep fit and connect with others but allows us to enjoy being part of nature. We can revel in colour, aroma, wildlife and beauty. Simply contemplating nature, the report says, “helps to rest and recharge our brains.” We can enjoy the beauty of the plants we grow, but also take delight in growing food and even herbs for curing minor ailments.

The NGS highlights how gardens and plants improve our environment; protect us from noise and pollution; help mitigate against flooding linked to climate change and help to cool us in extremes of temperature.

Simply contemplating nature helps to rest and recharge our brains Professor Alistair Griffiths (RHS Director of Science and Collections)

In my garden, I was already experiencing what scientists have found: spending two hours a week in nature is linked to better health and wellbeing. The NHS is beginning to offer ‘green prescriptions’ which prescribe time in community gardening projects and nature (as seen in The Independent newspaper last September).

If you feel the negative effects of not being able to get out, of being isolated, or lacking physical activity, then you can start cultivating your own wellbeing. Even if you don’t have an allotment or garden, the very act of looking after a pot plant or window box can have many of the same benefits. See, feel and hear your own wellbeing grow with your seeds.

I know my mother’s love of gardening ran deep and her greatest joy was to pore over the seed catalogues, buy her bulbs and spend many an hour in local garden centres.

There was always something growing on her windowsills, and this is the legacy and baton I am now ready to carry. Nothing brings me more joy than watching how my plants grow.


Mairi Taylor


Barrow Voice is published by Barrow upon Soar Community Association.(BUSCA)
Opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed by the editorial committee or the Community Association.

Barrow Community Association is a registered Charity No: 1156170.

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