The story behind
In 2016 behaviourist, broadcaster and amateur gardener, Jez Rose, and his wife made the brave decision to test his theories on how human psychology is influenced by greater connection with the natural world. They moved from their suburban three bedroom semi and bought a dilapidated 19th Century farmhouse in the countryside.
Originally built in 1850 and surrounded by more than 400 acres of arable Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire countryside, the farm was a blank canvas for Jez and his wife when they first moved in; largely just grass and a concrete yard. Alongside the farm runs a fresh water dyke, designated a site of significant scientific interest (SSSI) because of the naturally occurring wildlife (including fresh water muscles and water voles!) and with the nearest city, Peterborough, creating the UK's environment capital, the farm is ideally situated.
Inspired by his purchase of the farm and watching too many episodes of Gardener's World, they renovated the farm and gardens, which are now also home to chickens, honey bees and a variety of British wildlife including more than 20 different species of British wild birds. Going one step further in testing his theories on the cognitive and emotional impact of nature in the working environment, Jez launched an initial 2 year research project, The Good Life Project. With support from broadcasters Kate Humble and Adam Frost and the Soil Association and sponsors BJ Sherriff, Vigo Presses and Gabriel Ash - the project is evidencing the cognitive and emotional impact of nature on health, wellbeing and behaviour.
The gardens include an orchard, jewel garden, herb and vegetable gardens, jungle, rose garden, magnolia courtyard and smaller feature beds, largely all planted to provide pollen for the bees.
You can read about their journey renovating the farm, becoming certified as organic by the Soil Association and the joy, obsession and mud in Jez’s blogs here.
The farm is not open to the public except by course booking.