Our activities and stories
Grow Wild brings people together to value and enjoy UK native plants and fungi
We inspire millions of positive actions for our future environment by enabling new learning, community connections and wellbeing benefits. Read about our scale and impact.
Our activities inspire people to grow together, learn about nature and give back through volunteering; all of which improve wellbeing and transform urban spaces.
Our target audiences are children, young people and adults, especially those unengaged with nature and living in urban and disadvantaged areas.
How to get involved
For individuals and groups, opportunities to take part are announced on the Grow Wild website.
Have ideas? Please email [email protected] with ways for Grow Wild to engage new audiences, especially those with less access to and interest in nature.
UK activities running each year
1. Wildflower seed kits
Grow Wild shares free UK native wildflower seeds to bring together groups of neighbours, colleagues and students. Our seed 'kits' enable groups to access and celebrate wildflowers by transforming urban areas together - from window boxes to unloved public spaces. Every group receives year-round advice and inspiration.
- So far, 1.62 million people have come together to grow wildflowers in shared urban spaces, including 21% aged 12-25 and other young people through schools. This is thanks to 67,000 groups sharing 307,000 kits. Overall, 98% of participants would recommend our kits.
- The greatest impact is on those who grow wildflowers, especially learning and new social connections, and this impact is lasting with continued actions. The wider community also benefit by enjoying the wildflower space with flowers year after year.
Seed kits are distributed each spring.
2. Youth-led projects
Grow Wild gives £500 grants to people aged 14-25 to lead creative projects to engage their peers and others with UK native plants and fungi.
- Through 258 projects so far, thousands of young people have learnt how to take positive action to safeguard nature with new awareness and life skills. Overall, 93% of participants would recommend our projects.
- In just the past two years, Grow Wild’s youth project leads have engaged 20,000 people through channels they access and opportunities they own.
- Young people use song, dance, art, fashion, planting and other creative mediums; whatever inspires them to get involved and share messages. Groups have also taken over national exhibition spaces in Scotland and Wales to display and perform their work.
- Each project-led has a supporting organisation. Panels of young people also co-design and evaluate Grow Wild grants, including choosing which projects to fund.
Inspiring case studies: Cardiff Met natural dye; Edinburgh Green Room; Catherine’s success in Dunclug Primary School; Amber’s allotment photography; Alina’s photography exhibition; Luisa’s wildflower meadow in Mold; Noah’s conservation in Harrogate; and Esther’s eco plastic bricks in Macclesfield. Read more on the Grow Wild blog.
Youth project grants are given each spring.
3. Fungus kits
Grow Wild shares free grow-your-own mushroom kits with native mycelium and growing advice. They’re shared with ‘teams’ of friends, colleagues and students.
- So far, 101,000 people have come to together to grow edible mushrooms using our indoor kits, including 23% aged 12-25 and other young people through schools. This is thanks to 15,000 groups sharing 20,000 kits. Overall, 93% of participants would recommend our kits.
- Grow Wild increases the appreciation of fungi through our fun (and sometimes competitive!) opportunities for people to grow a mushroom. People also learn about fungi and most go on to share their knowledge and look for more fungi in nature. This impact is lasting too, with continued actions the following year.
Fungus kits are distributed in autumn.
4. Networking and training
Grow Wild brings together and upskills youth and community-led groups and practitioners. Our approach combines the experience of local groups with the expertise of Kew Gardens and partner organisations.
- We’ve co-created opportunities for 1,200 people to train and connect at 40 events since 2017. People rated our events as 8.8/10 for usefulness and 95% said they’ll do something new or different as a result.
- We want to change attitudes and empower people to take positive actions by connecting them with each other and nature. We share new ways for people to enjoy UK native plants and fungi.
Get a glimpse of training and hear from participants in our video.
Our events typically run during spring and autumn.
5. Digital engagement
Grow Wild shares messages with new audiences using digital channels, content and influences. We celebrate learning, connections and wellbeing.
- We’ve inspired nearly five million online actions for UK native plants and fungi, including one million by people aged 12-25.
- Our digital engagement often creates the initial (and sometime unexpected) experience for people to engage with nature through content, games and online communities. Many people go on to take part in further activities with Grow Wild and our partner organisations.
Highlights/resources: wildflower rap; fungi rap; flowers on the underground; city parade; weed perspectives; nature quest; fungi quest; 31-days of illustrations; wildflower identification; and metal or mushroom?
- Grow Wild has funded 344 community projects with up to £4,000 each since 2014. These lively groups engaged 143,000 people at over 3,100 growing activities. Overall, 94% of participants would recommend our projects. Read our case studies and inspiring stories here and browse projects and recommended sites near you on the Grow Wild map.
- Grow Wild has taken people on a growing journey by sharing 800,000 packets of wildflower seeds and year-round advice and inspiration. Since 2014, we’ve worked in partnership with media organisations and other partners to reach people with less access to nature. Overall, 98% of participants would recommend our packets to a friend. Read about our 2019/20 partnership with Jo Malone London.
- Grow Wild has attended hundreds of events to engage young people and those new to UK native plants and fungi. During 2018 and 2019, we showcased mycorrhiza with our giant fungus installation at nine festivals (watch our video). We also attended another 89 events about taking notice of nature, especially wildflower forays.
- Grow Wild funded ‘flagship’ landscape transformations after public votes; one each in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Watch our timelapse film.