Ardaluin Regeneration Trust is pleased to announce the introduction and continuing development of care farming within their site.
Thanks to a development grant received from the NI Environment Agency (NIEA) work is presently underway to remodel part of the existing 8 acre site to support the introduction of care farming alongside forest schooling for short and longer term outdoor adventure therapy programmes. The existing site topography includes over 100 mature TPO listed trees amongst beechwood, grass and meadow areas surrounding a large dry stone walled enclosure. The following environmental and horticultural additions are underway: community group vegetable allotments, sensory garden and walkways, cultivation facilities, forest school classroom, squirrel and bird feeding areas, fruit orchard, planting, bushcraft area, music area, bamboo maze, bug village, wild flower sowing, sheltering and landscaping for disability access, restoration of dry stone wall, recovery of enclosed walled garden space, star gazing and night sky mapping.
The care farm initiative will enable Ardaluin to offer and develop differentiating adventure therapy programmes based on study programmes and practical work within the natural environment. The Trust is confident that this will attract and engage a wide spectrum of community and voluntary groups and schools to an experiential learning approach to learn and understand more about the natural environment and to care for the indigenous trees, plants, crops and wildlife. .
Care farming also offers a "green prescription" opportunity for supporting adult health related issues such as depression, anxiety, stress and obesity caused through social isolation and disengagement.
The evolving care farm project will support the protection of the existing natural resources and through sensitive design, use and care management will reinvigorate natural growth and life into the site. The project recognises the natural heritage that exists and will operate to expand, protect and conserve this natural heritage without introducing non indigenous plants and crops and will support the habitats of natural wildlife as a safe and secure environment to expand and breed.