Things are blooming at the Darlington Recovery & Wellbeing Allotment and it’s not just plants that are growing, the wildlife is flourishing too. During a recent allotment group session, we noticed activity around one of our bird boxes; two Blue Tits were in and out constantly. As you can imagine, we were all pretty excited about the prospect of new life at the allotment. The birds didn’t seem to be phased by the human activity and they even flew in and out and past us while we moved a large metal tool shed right past their front door.

Two weeks later we heard a lot of commotion coming from the bird box and the adults were frantically flying in and out with what looked like small larvae and other juicy treats and we were eventually rewarded with a glimpse of a baby Blue Tit. We don’t know how many babies are in there as a  female Blue Tit can lay a clutch of between 8 & 10 eggs (that could explain all the noise).

What a fantastic experience in such a relaxing and therapeutic environment. As we explain to those accessing our service, the allotment project is not just about gardening. Social and therapeutic horticulture (STH)  can benefit people in a number of ways as it can be part of a person’s rehabilitation process, to help them recover and ‘find their feet again’ after an illness or a difficult time in their lives. It can also help people recover from a wide range of conditions, help people to learn new skills or provide the opportunity Just to feel better for being outside and in touch with nature.




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