Evidence - the health and wellbeing benefits of food growing

The health, wellbeing and social benefits of gardening, horticulture therapy and food growing are becoming better established and documented and there are many examples across the UK, of growing initiatives that are used by different groups to provide opportunities for exercise, to address physical and mental problems, to encourage social interaction and to develop skills, while also providing access to fresh, local fruit and vegetables.

Growing Health has been pulling together different types of evidence that can be used either as a starting point to open discussion with health contacts or to back up your service. We have produced:


Evidence Review

The benefits of gardening and
food growing for health and wellbeing -
full report

Benefits of food growing for
health & wellbeing -
overview of the evidence


These are a series of short briefings of the benefits for particular health areas.

Gardening and food
growing to reduce
stressand stress related

Food Growing &
Healthy Weight

Gardening and growing
for people with dementia


Product sheets

These are examples of services that can be offered providing an overview of the product, identify the client group, outcomes and the evidence. Use these examples and adapt them to your local needs.

Social and Therapeutic Horticulture

Growing Enterprise


The Natural Health Service in Halton, Merseyside, provides a single contact point to well-developed services in the natural environment, proven to tackle a range of health and wellbeing issues. It offers a range of services taking advantage of the area's wealth of green spaces and natural places. It developed this series of product sheets to provide an overview of the products offered including; an overview of the product; identifying the client group and outcomes from delivery, the evidence base and links to case studies. They are updatable and adaptable to local circumstances and developing evidence. Product Sheets are provided for:

  1. Horticultural Therapy
  2. Walking for Health
  3. Cycling for Health
  4. Forest School
  5. Green Gym.

Download: Natural Health Service - Consortium Health Products 2013 - Product Sheets.

The Brighton and Hove Food Partnership have developed two very useful visual guides:

Download: Powerpoint presentation to use with CCGS or public health which outlines the benefits which you can amend.


Growing Health posters presented in 2015

Public Health England Conference 15-16 Sept, Growing Health: Using community food growing to deliver public health outcomes

Royal College of GPs Conference 1-3 Oct, Growing Health – making gardening and food growing a natural choice for your patients

Kings Fund Bringing together housing and public health; enabling better health and wellbeing  21st Oct, Gardens for Life – using community based food growing in Tower Hamlets to deliver public health outcomes



You can get involved

We are keen to hear from anyone interested in or running a project that links community food growing with health and wellbeing or looking to develop this area.

Find out more



Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming

Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.