“My vision is of cities that are more green than grey,” says Ellen Miles, who founded Nature is a Human Right to campaign for making the great outdoors accessible to all. With 2.7 million people in the UK not having any green space within accessible walking distance, she has brought together a wide range of campaigners, educators and activists who are all dedicated to giving everyone the opportunity to discover the mental and physical health benefits of spending time in nature.
So, what better way to begin our trail than in one of our cities’ community gardens: St Mary’s Secret Garden in east London, to be exact. For over 25 years, Ellen says this garden has offered an “oasis of colour and community”, helping people with support needs and the local community to learn new skills, connect with others and grow delicious, nutritious crops. “I think the skills we can share and the things we can teach each other through gardening brings us together,” says Ellen. “The best way to connect with nature is to grow a garden and I’ve started growing things this year more than ever before – I’ve found it an amazing way to connect with living things.”