DO YOU have a spare acre of land, some horse manure or wood chips? A woman is appealing for land and compost to kick-start a new gardening project to help those with PTSD.

As a form of horticultural therapy, specifically for people suffering from PTSD, Caroline Nettle’s care farm will grow pesticide free food, flowers and medicinal herbs, which she will sell at local markets.

Countless studies have shown how getting outside improves health, mood and memory, but as well as helping those with trauma, Miss Nettle believes projects such as this help to address food insecurity, assist the environment and reduce waste.

'I lost everything'

“I have a thousand plants, masses of seeds, a place at the School for Social Entrepreneurs this year and a grant from Unltd. All I'm missing is the land,” she said.

The project found success when it originally started in Wales in 2017, but the 53-year-old has struggled to get it off the ground in Darlington, where she relocated following a fire at the natural building community where she lived.

She said: “One day I was sat by the wood fire in my hut then went off to shower in the main building, which had electricity.

"As I stepped into the shower, I heard screams. My hut was burning. ‘The house is on fire,’ someone screamed.

“It was very traumatic. I lost everything. Going through that made me want to come back to my family.

“My experiences have shown me how kind people are. I had tons of love sent my way and was born to give back to the community.

"There is clear need for extra help because the demand is absurd, I’ve spoken to thousands of people about it.”

'All I'm missing is the land'

Miss Nettle is on the hunt for an acre of land, with water and electric, in a peaceful place to avoid noises that may be distressing for volunteers. Once land is secured, Miss Nettle will apply for additional funding to employ two qualified mental health workers for the farm, on a part time basis.

A volunteer from Wales, who did not want to be named, said the farm helped him achieve a lot internally.

Long term goals for the care farm include training days on gardening, mindfulness and cookery skills.

"I am so passionate about helping those who struggle with PTSD so cannot wait to start planting and offer support,” Miss Nettle said.

You can support the new care farm here.