‘The green gym has pulled me out of a rut’

Planting trees and vegetables are being offered as an alternative for some to lifting weights and running on treadmills.

There are green gyms dotted across the UK that are managed by The Community Volunteers (TCV).

Christopher Bingham from Northern Ireland got involved with his local green gym earlier this year.

The 27 year old from Ballysillan in Belfast said: “During lockdown I was in a dark period, I was doing nothing with my life.

“But as soon as the green gym came along it’s really helped me, it’s pulled me out of a rut.”

In Northern Ireland, there are 36 green gym session per week delivered across 22 sites– a combination of community garden, allotment and woodland settings.

A new partnership with National Museums NI’s and TCVs has seen a pilot green gym project being introduced at Ulster Folk Museum.

Daniel Bingham said: “I’m unemployed, but going to the green gym, gardening, exercising and meeting other people has really boosted my confidence to keep on going with my job search.”

Video journalist: Niall McCracken