Grow & Learn in Nature (GLiN)

Are you finding yourself spending more time in the garden, plotting ideas to grow vegetables on your balcony, sowing wildflowers on some waste ground, or perhaps feeding the birds in your local park? Over the past year, many of us have recognised not only the importance of being outdoors, but also placing a greater value on the natural world around us. 

This reconnection with nature is making us sit up and realise we all play a part in nurturing plants and nature. After all, our lives depend on it. With a staggering loss of 97% of meadows and millions of miles of hedgerow in the UK since WW2, nature does indeed need our help.

That’s why a nature-based learning opportunity like The Caley’s Grow and Learn in Nature award not only helps you improve and develop your gardening skills, it can also give you a greater understanding of the natural world around you, giving you the opportunity to make a difference locally.

So How Does a Grow and Learn in Nature Award Work?

  • You decide on your GLiN project. It can be anything from making your garden more wildlife friendly to simply growing pots of herbs on your doorstep. Remember, even a few herbs can attract pollinating insects. 
  • You choose your site. It can be your garden at home, school grounds, waste ground, community garden, or allotment. Even a balcony or window box will do.
  • You undertake a minimum of 30 hours of GLiN activities. If you choose to do more hours, so much the better for both you and nature.
  • You will learn much about biodiversity and nature, soil health, plant care, and propagation. Our fabulous resource pack gives you handy hints and tips to get you started.
  • You record your progress in a personal portfolio. There is a fantastic example on the website to inspire you. Portfolios are a great record of all your hard work and looking back on your efforts will give you a real sense of satisfaction.
  • On completion, you share and put to good use all that knowledge you have gained by making a gardening or nature pledge. Even a small step like taking part in the RSPB ‘Big Garden Birdwatch’ or planting early flowering bulbs next year would be a valuable pledge to make.
  • And finally, you are presented with The Caley’s prestigious ‘Certificate of Horticultural Achievement’ award.

Who Gets Involved in Grow and Learn in Nature Award?

GLiN is suitable for anyone, from the novice gardener to someone who has been gardening for years but wants to learn more about gardening more sustainably and with nature in mind. GLiN is ideal for people now working from home, helping to motivate or give some structure to their gardening projects.

Families are also now working towards GLiN as well as many people gardening in school settings, colleges, community gardens, public parks, residential settings, hospitals, and training centres. During lockdown, many people were not able to access their project, but to keep the continuity of the learning ongoing, many have been using GLiN at home, recording what they are growing and how they are connecting with their local green spaces. Remember you can work towards a GLiN award individually or as a group.  

How Does The Caley Support You?

Our monthly Zoom drop-in sessions give you the opportunity to find out more about GLiN, they’re really informal, friendly, and relaxed. These sessions are open to anyone, from instructors delivering our awards to groups, individual participants working towards the award, or anyone who just wants to find out more.

To find out more, register for GLiN, or attend a Zoom drop-in session, contact: 

So, with spring emerging why not take up a Grow and Learn in Nature challenge, learn new skills, and truly transform the world on your doorstep?

The Caley is always ready to welcome new members and offers a wide range of benefits to encourage you to join. From workshops and classes to talks and trips, there is sure to be something to interest anyone in Scotland with a love of plants and gardening. Find out more about how to join Scotland’s National Horticultural and Gardening Society on their website.

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