Donate Twitter Facebook

Spring into a world of volunteering

Spring into a world of volunteering

Spring is nature’s invitation to come out of hibernation, step outside and soak up the sunshine and what better way to make the most of it than by getting involved in volunteering at your local parks, gardens and gardening-related charities? Not only does it give you the chance to surround yourself with the vibrant colours and fragrant blooms of the season, but it also offers a myriad of benefits for your own wellbeing and that of the local people who use the space.

It’s easy to take for granted the work which goes into making our urban areas so attractive but the many local volunteer ‘In Bloom’ groups should be especially recognised for their work enhancing the natural environment. Amongst the many local winners of Yorkshire in Bloom 2023, Knaresborough received a Gold Award in the Large Town category and Starbeck in Bloom for the Urban Community category.

Over the past couple of years over 40,000 crocus bulbs have been planted on the Stray by the Rotary Club of Harrogate, helped by local groups such as Open Country and Bilton Conservation Group. Over in Ripon, the display of daffodils on Harrogate Road on the way into the city (affectionately known as ‘Daffodil Bends’) is the result of hard work by the Rotary Club of Ripon going back as far as the 1980s.

The Valley Gardens is the ‘jewel in the crown’ of Harrogate’s green spaces with the ‘Friends of’ group dedicated to the development of this fantastic green space for people of all ages to enjoy. Local charities offering the chance to get your hands dirty include Horticap in Harrogate and the Ripon Walled Garden, both providing adults with learning disabilities training in horticulture and other rural and craft skills. They’re also great places to support as customers, both perfect for visiting to pick up gardening supplies and for delicious coffee and cake!

Volunteering in green spaces allows you to connect with nature in a meaningful way, promoting mental wellbeing and reducing stress levels. There's something magical about digging in the dirt, watching seeds grow into flourishing plants – it's green therapy for the soul. Plus, you get to contribute to the beauty of your neighbourhood while meeting like-minded folks who share your passion for gardening. So, why not roll up your sleeves, grab a trowel, and make this spring a season of growth, both for the flowers and for ourselves.

If you’re looking for some ideas of how you can get involved take a look at our searchable HADCA Volunteering Directory of opportunities which includes an ‘outdoors’ category. You could help out at Time Together’s lovely allotment in Starbeck or volunteer at Orb’s thriving garden which features pots, vegetable beds, a herb garden, greenhouse, a pond and wildlife to enjoy. If you love nature and being outdoors, you may be interested in joining the Skell Valley Project as a Bat Monitoring Volunteer. Visit to be inspired!