People working in a garden on a Green Gym

Start a Green Gym

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Choose from the list below to find out more about how The Conservation Volunteers can help you to establish a Green Gym.

Do you represent a:

Public Sector Organisations – such as a Local Authority or NHS organisation – and other Charities

You can either commission The Conservation Volunteers to establish a Green Gym, or can take out a Green Gym Licence. We also offer Discover Green Gym, which is a 10 week programme.

Commissioning The Conservation Volunteers

Most Green Gyms have been established by The Conservation Volunteers, where we employ an officer to coordinate the scheme. The Officer would work with your organisation - and other local partners - to devise a programme of environmental activity and to run regular Green Gym sessions according to The Conservation Volunteers' quality standards (including health and safety). They would recruit participants into the scheme via local health services and through wider promotional activity. Your organisation would also have a role to play, for example, in promoting the Green Gym or providing green spaces for the activities.

Depending upon the target audience, the The Conservation Volunteers Officer would aim to develop a community group within 2 or 3 years. This is where volunteers take on the long-term running of the programme. It is achieved through training and mentoring local volunteers so that they develop the skills and confidence to organise the scheme independently of The Conservation Volunteers.

The precise way in which Green Gyms are established varies, depending upon the target audience and local priorities. The Conservation Volunteers would therefore need to discuss your objectives with you in order to advise you further. The Conservation Volunteers may be able to advise you on sources of funding, and in some cases, we can work with you in developing funding proposals.

For further details about commissioning The Conservation Volunteers to deliver a Green Gym, contact a Green Gym Development Manager

Green Gym Licence

Because The Conservation Volunteers has received much interest from other groups and organisations who would like to run Green Gym (which is our registered trade mark), we have developed a process by which we can license the Green Gym. The Conservation Volunteers provide a package of services, including training, evaluation, a 'how to' manual and consultancy to enable your organisation to establish the Green Gym to the quality standards which we have developed. The Conservation Volunteers may be able to advise third sector organisations and community groups on sources of funding.

For further details about the licence, contact a Green Gym Development Manager

Discover Green Gym

Discover Green Gym aims to inspire a lifestyle change through a 10-week programme of Green Gym sessions. The programme introduces participants to a variety of pulse raising conservation and/or gardening activities. Fitness tests are used at the beginning and end of the 10 weeks, both as a motivational tool and as a way to measure change. Participants are signposted to local 'green exercise' activities so that they can continue to sustain their level of physical activity beyond the 10 weeks. Each programme can accommodate up to 15 participants. For further details about 'Discover Green Gym', contact a Green Gym Development Manager.


The school Green Gym helps children to increase their level of physical activity through practical environmental tasks in school grounds and neighbouring green spaces. A TCV staff member works alongside a member of the school community (teacher, parent or governor) to deliver a weekly, 1 hour Green Gym session throughout term time. The sessions are run as a PE class or as an after school club. School nurses and other health professionals recommend this sort of activity for children, including those who don't engage with traditional sports. The Conservation Volunteers can provide training so that teachers and/or parents can take on the running of the Green Gym themselves, after the first year.

We may be able to advise you on sources of funding, and in some cases, we can work with you in developing funding proposals.

For further details about the School Green Gym, contact a Green Gym Development Manager


The Conservation Volunteers can offer Green Gym taster sessions for teams of employees who want to experience a gym with a difference! These are run along the lines of our Employee Action Days The Conservation Volunteers can also run a Discover Green Gym programme for employees, this offers weekly Green Gym sessions over a 10 week period. Companies may also be interested in taking out a Green Gym Licence, so that they can set up their own scheme.

Volunteers from local community groups or members of the public

Volunteers from local community groups or members of the public can set up their own local Green Gym group with support, training and advice from TCV staff (including advice on applying for funds).

In order to run a Green Gym, the key activities are to:

  • Run a programme of practical conservation or gardening sessions that are held at least once a week throughout the year.
  • Provide active and stimulating gardening or conservation activities, which are pulse raising and keep peoples interest.
  • Establish links with local health services, for example a local health centre, who could endorse your Green Gym and recommend people to take part.
  • Publicise the Green Gym activities, and recruit new members.
  • Follow health and safety procedures, including warm-up and cool-down exercises at the beginning and end of each session.

To get started, you need to recruit 4 or 5 local volunteers who would also like to work with you to set up and run a Green Gym community group (along the lines described above). A The Conservation Volunteers Officer could then talk your fledgling group through the next steps.

For further details, contact a Green Gym Development Manager