Growing Wild and Well

Growing Wild and Well offers opportunities to vulnerable adults, for example those with mental health challenges or who struggle with addiction or long-term unemployment.


The programme is designed to focus on the mutual benefits of environmental engagement, physical activity and wellbeing.

Utilising the healing and regenerative effect of time spent in green places, our sessions offer interaction with the natural world in a safe and supportive social space. Participants also volunteer in vital conservation tasks including biological recording, avian surveys, coppicing, tree planting, removing invasive non-native species and generating a sense of achievement and pride through improving local natural environments.

Activities incorporate environmental education and nature engagement. Most participants will work towards one of our accredited NCFE qualifications designed to improve employability, self-esteem and life skills. In addition, they are encouraged and supported to gain the Challenge Saltire Award for volunteering and/or a John Muir Award.

Through these activities we progressively build resilience, healthy habits, and friendships so that participants have both the confidence and the skills to volunteer in the other elements of the Silver Saplings project and participate more fully in their local communities.

Map showing the areas of Inverness, Elgin, Fochabers and Aviemore

We are able to provide 12 spaces per group and we will be running 1 group in each of the highlighted areas above.


Our Elgin Group is now full, but please check back soon for new opportunities.


    Looking at the map above, choose which area would be most convenient for you.
  • Please provide an email address where we can get in touch with you.
  • Please leave the name of someone who we can contact in the event of an emergency
  • Please leave the telephone number of someone who we can contact in the event of an emergency

By clicking submit you agree to our terms and conditions.  Also to take part in the evaluation of the programme. This will involve completing a questionnaire both before and after taking part in the programme.

 I agree to my completed questionnaires being given a personal identification number. This will be stored alongside my name by Wild Things! for the sole purpose of linking my before and after questionnaire answers. Once the data has been linked, the file with my name and personal identification number will be destroyed (we do not need your name for data analysis purposes).

I agree to an anonymised version of my questionnaire answers (with all personal identifiers removed) to be shared with researchers from the University of the Highlands and Islands Division of Rural Health and Wellbeing for the sole purpose of evaluating the effectiveness of the programme. The researcher will carry out statistical analysis on the anonymised data. This will be included in an evaluation report for Wild Things! It may also be included in academic publications or presentations, with prior approval from Wild Things! No identifiable data will be used in publications or presentations.