Muddy Fork is open again!

by | 26 December 2020 | Gardening Club, Health, Local Charity, Retford

Muddy Fork, Retford’s gardening for wellbeing charity based at Idle Valley Nature Reserve, is running groups again, for the first time since the March lockdown. This has been made possible by the recent reopening of the reserve car park, enabling easy access to the Muddy Fork garden. However, as the visitor centre remains closed to the public (meaning no toilet facilities), trustees have decided that shorter sessions should be run, for three hours, on three days a week instead of two.
Participants who were previously attending sessions in the garden have been contacted and procedures are in place to start processing new referrals. Lockdowns and restrictions on social interaction have had a significant impact on wellbeing during the course of the pandemic, while many people during this period have discovered, or rediscovered, the mental health benefits of spending time out of doors in the natural world.
Muddy Fork offers opportunities to connect with the natural environment, to do useful work in beautiful surroundings, and to meet with others in a supportive (but socially-distanced) group. As a recognised health support group, Muddy Fork has exemptions from COVID-19 restrictions which enable it to carry on its activities even in lockdown or Tier 3.
The Muddy Fork garden is in good shape despite the closure, having been maintained since March by a willing team of volunteers prepared to climb through the fence to get in! And although, obviously, the growing season is now over and there is little produce left in the garden, there is never a shortage of tasks even in winter. The tree nursery and the willow harvest are both in need of attention, and will need teamwork to get the jobs done.
Muddy Fork takes referrals from a wide range of agencies, and also accepts self-referrals. Anyone interested in making a referral should contact the trustees on