‘Where plants and people grow’
Mudlarks is Hertford’s community gardening charity. Our aim is to integrate people with learning difficulties and mental health issues into the community through gardening whilst also promoting conservation and allowing people of all abilities to learn and work together.
- To integrate people with learning disabilties and mental health issues into the community
- To promote health and wellbeing through offering horticultural therapy and training to people with learning disabilities and mental health issues
- To enable people of all abilities to learn and work together
- To be run as a working unit with opportunities for conservation, education, training,work experience, recreation, socialising and personal development
- To raise awareness of the need to protect and conserve our environment
The Mudlarks Site
At our vibrant site on the Cromwell Road Allotments, just off Ware Road in Hertford, gardeners have their own plots where they can choose which plants to grow and where they undertake all aspects of allotment gardening, including planting, nurturing and harvesting fruit and vegetables. The large communal areas at Mudlarks include flower and vegetable plots, an orchard, wildlife area, herb spiral, willow arch and apothecary bed.
The site also has an eco-building with a living sedum roof. The building has a wood-burning stove and facilities for making refreshments. Gardeners can use the building for tea and lunch breaks. In the colder months of the year gardeners use the building for craft activities and allotment carpentry projects.
The site also contains greenhouses, potting shed, bike shelter, wood store and environmentally sustainable compost toilet.
How to Join Mudlarks
Mudlarks is currently open every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday throughout the year. There are places for up to 10 gardeners each day which are allocated to people depending on availability and the support needs of each gardener. Gardeners will have the opportunity to take part in supported activities on the Mudlarks’ site and also to be part of our community gardening team where they will gain experience of working on gardening projects in the local community.
Transition: a pathway for young people
At Mudlarks we understand the importance of supporting young people with autism and learning difficulties beyond school.
Drug and alcohol support
Mudlarks is also able to offer a number of supported volunteer places for people on drug and alcohol rehabilitation programmes who are looking for volunteering opportunities and work experience before getting into paid employment.
What you can do at Mudlarks
Gardeners have the opportunity to take part in all aspects of allotment gardening on their individual plots, including planting, nurturing and harvesting fruit and vegetables. Gardeners will also undertake general allotment tasks in the communal areas – preparing the ground for planting, fencing, upkeep of allotment buildings, general carpentry, woodwork projects and craft activities.
Larking About is the Mudlarks community gardening team. Gardeners will have the opportunity to go out with staff and volunteers and carry out gardening jobs in the local area – from working on small private gardens to being involved in maintaining some of the gardens at Hertford Castle.
There are always volunteering opportunities at Mudlarks for people able to support our gardeners with disabilities on site, to provide practical expertise in horticulture, carpentry, our with administrative skills.
Mudlarks staff costs and day-to-day running costs are funded through money received for the gardeners’ places, either from the local authority or personal funding.
Mudlarks also applies for funding from charitable trusts, local authority grants, and local and national awards to pay for tools, equipment, buildings, vehicles and to support new projects.
“Has made such a difference to my life in many ways including giving me a potential career in horticulture. They have been very supportive since I left school through good times and bad especially since I have been studying horticulture at Capel Manor. Without Vic and everyone at Mudlarks I definitely wouldn’t be the person I am today. The amount of friends I have made at Mudlarks so far is priceless and there are some truly amazing people among our staff, volunteers and gardeners who are making the most of the many benefits Mudlarks brings. An absolutely excellent charity which I’m sure will continue to grow in future years.” Adam Lynch
“Amazing charity and I am so proud to be apart of Jordans life everyday love my step son soo much x x x” Stacey Louise Dommett
“Great team of staff and volunteers, I am sure James enjoys his time there.” Robert Larman