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Grow Wild is Kew Botanic Garden’s flagship outreach programme involving communities, young people and volunteers in the transformation of local spaces using native wildflowers and fungi. The purpose of the Grow Wild evaluation undertaken by Forest Research is to assess the impact on the people participating in the different Grow Wild activities, namely:
The evaluation investigated the kind of activities that the Grow Wild programme facilitated, the type of people that took part, what if any wellbeing impacts there were and whether there were any behaviour change outcomes at individual or community level.
The specific research objectives were to:
The project collected data in two different periods, and across different Grow Wild activities in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland as follows:
During evaluation period 2014-2016
During evaluation period 2016-17
Analysis of data collected during 2016-17 is ongoing. Results from the 2014-2016 Grow Wild projects indicate that as a consequence of Grow Wild:
A series of short video’s in which community project participants explain the impact of their Grow Wild experiences can be found here on the Grow Wild YouTube channel .
Ambrose-Oij, B and Forster, J., 2017, Grow Wild Evaluation Technical Report Vol I Seed Packets and Kits 2014-16, Forest Research report to Grow Wild, Royal Botanic Garden, Kew, Richmond Surrey pp. 82
Ambrose-Oij, B and O’Brien, L, 2017, Grow Wild Evaluation Technical Report Vol II Community and Flagship Projects 2014-16 , Forest Research report to Grow Wild, Royal Botanic Garden, Kew, Richmond Surrey pp. 84
Sowing the seeds of a movement: building nature connection through wild horticulture. Bianca Ambrose-Oji, Jack Forester, Liz O’Brien, Philip Turvil, Julia Willison. Presentation at national conference “Nature Connections: Beyond contact with nature to connection” Derby University, June 27 th 2017.
The project started in February, 2105 and was completed in November 2017.
The social researchers at Forest Research offer project and programme evaluation consultancy services to a wide range of customers working in the forestry, land-based and conservation management sector
This project is a contracted service for Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.
Forestry Commission policy
Even though this research is not focused on woodland, it builds evidence which contributes to understanding of areas that are mentioned as of concern within the Science and Innovation Strategy for Forestry in Great Britain and the DEFRA forest policy statement for England
These include methods which increase community involvement in the care and management of natural capital, and the potential for urban green spaces to provide cultural ecosystem services that support community and individual wellbeing.