Growing Care Farming is a £1.4 million project which aims to significantly increase the number of care farm places available each year.
Care farming means the therapeutic use of farming practices and is sometimes called social farming. Care farming sits amongst other nature-based therapies that are collectively called 'green care'. Green care means structured nature programmes for people with a defined need to benefit health, social care or education outcomes.
Health and social care professionals (such as GPs, community mental mealth workers, social prescribing link workers or local social care workers) and education professionals can commission a wide range of care farming services for adults and children with a defined need.
The Growing Care Farming (GCF) team has been working to transform the scale of the care farming sector across England, creating more opportunities for children and adults with a defined need to benefit from the specialist health, care and educational services provided by care farms. GCF has been expanding and transforming care farming services across England through:
Growing Care Farming is part of the Government Programme for Children & Nature which is supported by Defra, funded by the Department for Education and managed by Natural England. The project is being delivered by Social Farms & Gardens, in partnership with Thrive, and was launched in May 2019.
The Growing Care Farming project is due to end delivery at the end of December 2021 before completion at the end of March 2022. Discounted training opportunities will be available until the end of the project. After project completion Social Farms & Gardens will continue to support the care farming and green care sector.
Watch our video about the Growing Care Farming project
Care farming resources and support
Our care farming resources include information and advice on different areas of care farming and green care. They are aimed at care farmers, people who want to commission care farm services (e.g. in health, social care or education) or those with an interest in care farming.
We also collect key data on the care farming sector through our surveys, which you can find in our annual survey reports.
If you'd like to know more about care farms and how people use them or commission their services, take a look at our case studies.
We host networking and webinar events for care farmers, prospective care farmers and others in the green care sector. Visit the Social Farms & Gardens events page to see all upcoming training and event dates.
Find out more about our different training options and access training that is available anytime on our training page.
Catch up with our first online conference in March 2021 or take a look at our Celebrating care farming video produced for the conference.