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Greater Manchester celebrates World Naked Gardening Day

The event takes place on the first weekend of May each year and aims to get people outdoors, tending their gardens, "unclothed, as nature intended."

By bringing people together for a day of fun, organisers are hoping that they can develop a sense of community whilst promoting healthier attitudes towards both body acceptance and the natural environment. "All that's involved is getting naked and making the world's gardens — whatever their size, public or private — healthier and more attractive for everyone," comments Mark Storey, co-creator of World Naked Gardening Day.

Visitors and staff at Hulme Community Garden Centre have been getting involved in the festivities (when the weather has allowed), by bravely baring their bodies to promotote the occassion. The Garden Centre runs as a social enterprise, selling plants to the public and offering volunteering, training and horticultural therapy sessions in the stunning community gardens, a tranquil green landscape alive with birds, insects and small animals.

"All that's involved is getting naked and making the world's gardens — whatever their size, public or private — healthier and more attractive for everyone"

15 years down the line, the original concept of the enterprise is still the same. HCGC aims to provide a maintained, public green space, to improve the physical health of the community by encouraging organic fruit and veg production, as well as volunteering opportunities, which can act as therapy, rehabilitation, education, or to take Naked Gardening Day as an example...Just plain fun!

"World Naked Gardening Day was a great chance for us to get some publicity as people, even those living locally, often don't know we exist or that we sell to the public," said Rachel Summerscales, of Hulme Community Garden Centre. "With the May bank holiday looming and people thinking about gardening and summer, it seemed too good of an opportunity to miss! The naked element actually fitted very well into our ethos of organic growing and commitment to peat free, vegan produce."

A recent survey from the Royal Horticultural Society has shown that Brits really are a nation of gardeners, with 77% saying that they garden and 82% saying that it makes them feel happier. Young people aged 16-24 came out top of the happiness index, with 88% of this group saying that gardening made them happier.

Community gardens play a vital role in building healthy, sustainable communities and it's important to encourage people throughout local neighbourhoods to get their fingers green in fun and innovative ways in order to sustain them.

For more information about Hulme Community Garden Centre, contact Rachel Summerscales on 0161 227 8198 or visit their website to get involved and find out what's on.

To find out more about World Naked Gardening Day, head to their main website.


Photos courtesy of Hulme Community Garden Centre.