National Garden Scheme

The National Garden Scheme opens thousands of beautiful gardens every year to help support unpaid carers.

 Flowers and a butterful

Carers Trust’s Partnership with the National Garden Scheme

The National Garden Scheme is Carers Trust’s longest standing corporate donor and to date we have received almost £3.8m from them to help support unpaid carers.

It raises large sums of money every year for caring and nursing charities, of which Carers Trust is one of the largest beneficiaries. 

The money Carers Trust has received from the National Garden Scheme has helped us to support the UK’s seven million unpaid carers. This includes increasing our reach and ability to offer advice, information, respite care, and financial support to carers in their local communities as well as through our policy and campaigning work.

Guidance for visiting gardens in current Coronavirus crisis

Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) the Trustees of the National Garden Scheme have taken the difficult decision to ask all the charity’s garden owners not to open their gardens until further notice.

Virtual garden visits

In response to the current crisis, National Garden Scheme is working with garden owners, volunteers and supporters to keep gardens alive and virtually open this summer and to continue to raise funds. On 9 April 2020, National Garden Scheme President Mary Berry launched the Support our Gardens appeal, which is fundraising via virtual garden visits. You can find out more on the National Garden Scheme website. Share this with your friends, family and networks and virtually visit a garden today.

Get involved!

Why not visit one of the hundreds of beautiful gardens opened each year by the National Garden Scheme? Money raised from entry fees is shared out by the National Garden Scheme with its partner charities, including Carers Trust. So your visit will help our work to support unpaid carers across the UK.

Right now, there are many opportunities around England and Wales to see gardens full of snowdrops and other winter colour. To find an open garden near you to visit this year, or to start planning your garden visits for 2020, search by location and date on the National Garden Scheme’s website.

You can also purchase the Garden Visitor’s Handbook 2020 for gardens open in 2020

Gardens and health

The link between gardens, gardening and being outdoors with health and wellbeing has long been understood. And extensive research, including some undertaken by Carers Trust, has now shown that spending time outdoors can significantly improve mental health and wellbeing. Carers Trust is therefore keen to use this learning in our work with carers by encouraging them to find time to spend outdoors.

The 2019 National Garden Scheme’s Gardens and Health Week (11-19 May 2019) focussed on the positive impact of social prescribing; helping patients to improve their health, wellbeing and social welfare by connecting them to community services. It may not be a surprise to many that gardening, and visiting gardens, is one of the most powerful forms of social prescribing. In fact, over 85% of National Garden Scheme visitors report that being in a garden has a positive impact on their mental wellbeing

Carers Trust Network Partner, Blackpool Carers, can attest to this, with the carers who attend its gardening group reporting feeling calmer and more relaxed.   

Our survey in 2018 showed that more than two thirds of carers manage their stress levels by gardening.

Carers Trust Network Partners

If you are a staff member from one of our Network Partner carer services around England and Wales and are interested in finding out how you can link with a National Garden Scheme garden, then please get in touch. 

Contact Hanika Sawhney at, our Senior Fundraising Executive.