CLACT grant helps support Green Minds in Brecon

An initiative which combines horticulture and countryside skills benefits from a grant from the CLA Charitable Trust.
Ceri Hayes, Ecotherapist, Brecon Mind 1
Ready for growing healthy green minds: Brecon Mind ecotherapist, Ceri Hayes in the Green Minds garden in Brecon Cathedral grounds.

A flourishing social and horticultural initiative in Brecon, which plays its part in supporting those with mental health challenges - or for those who wish to connect with nature - has received a welcome boost from a grant from the Country Land & Business Association’s Charitable Trust (CLACT).

Brecon Mind’s Green Minds programme has provided about 200 positive health and wellbeing experiences for local people. The project enables participants to benefit from working together, caring for, and learning about the environment and the joy of growing, harvesting and preparing vegetables and fruit, cooking and eating outdoors, and also producing ecological art.

Green Minds continues to demonstrate how horticulture, art and cooking project delivers substantial therapeutic value. Those who benefit are able to move out of regular routines or environments and enjoy positive absorption from a different environment, new – or re-lived – experiences, new skills and the joy of successful teamwork,” says Ceri Hayes, Ecotherapist for Brecon Mind.

“The project helps participants form a deeper connection with nature, delivering real benefits to their mental health. Our project has included outdoor cookery workshops in which we cook our own vegetables in a stew. This enables participants to take part in the full-circle of seed–to–plate.”

Run from a garden in Brecon Cathedral grounds, the group nurtured crops of courgette, potatoes, peas and tomatoes. The group also enjoyed an outing to the gardens at Ty Mawr, Llangorse, where they focused on no-dig and organic gardening and have been inspired to expand their activities to a woodland garden area where they will grow a mixture of berried fruits.

Caroline Wilson, CLACT Trustee says, “We’re delighted to support the project which meets our mission to enable members of the community to reap the benefits of the countryside for their health and wellbeing, and education.”

Ceri Hayes adds, “Brecon Mind’s Social and Therapeutic Group is also benefitting the wider community by providing a beautiful and biodiverse space within the town for people to spend time in. Our community garden can be used by all – we encourage members of the public to help themselves to produce, picking when things are in abundance. Furthermore, we are committed to improving the biodiversity within the garden and are currently running a number of sessions with the Wildlife Trust to create more habitats and plant more diverse species.”