Between 2009 and 2013, Mind funded 130 ecotherapy projects across England with £7.5m support from the Big Lottery Fund. Over 12,000 people used the projects to look after their mental health by doing gardening, farming, food growing, exercise, art and craft, or environmental conservation work – supported by trained professionals.

Three women sitting at table in greenhouse sorting vegetables

Although projects have completed their Ecominds-funded work, many projects remain active, having secured further funding or having succeeded in becoming sustainable social enterprises.

Find out how to get involved in ecotherapy in your area.


  • Find out more about the projects we funded in the Ecominds: Directory of projects 2009-2013 [PDF: 5.98MB]
Download the directory ...

Where did Ecominds come from?

In 2007, recognising that a growing body of evidence was showing the benefits of ecotherapy, Mind published Ecotherapy: The green agenda for mental health, a report setting out the case for using ecotherapy as a cost-effective and natural addition to existing treatment options.

The report helped Mind to become part of the Big Lottery Fund’s environmental funding programme, Changing Spaces. Mind received funding to support ecotherapy activity across England - while four other lottery award partners, Groundwork, Natural England, research consultancy BRE, and the Royal Society for the Wildlife Trusts - received funding for other environmental schemes.  

Feel better outside at the Green Gym

Mind staff joined the Ecominds-funded Camden Green Gym for one of their regular sessions in Regent's Park to find out how the project helps volunteers to improve their physical and mental wellbeing. 

Mind funded a network of Green Gyms through TCV's Wellbeing Comes Naturally programme.  

The evidence

Read the latest evidence about the benefits of ecotherapy.

Download our reports

Your stories

For many people, taking part in ecotherapy has been a life-changing experience.

Hear their stories

About ecotherapy

Find out about ecotherapy and how it can improve mental health and wellbeing.

Read our ecotherapy information pages

Mental Health A-Z

Information and advice on a huge range of mental health topics

> Read our A-Z


Helping you to better understand and support people with mental health problems

> Find out more

Special offers

Check out our promotional offers on print and digital booklets, for a limited time only

> Visit our shop today