Recovery through Nature Scotland

Discover a world free from drugs and alcohol, gain confidence and learn new skills in the beautiful Scottish countryside with Phoenix Futures Scotland. 

Recovery through Nature connects people using our services with nature to aid in their recovery and  work as a team on practical conservation projects in settings across Scotland. Our Recovery through Nature programme, set up in 2007 has helped thousands of people progress with their treatment while working on environmental projects in the great outdoors. With our partners, we have helped restore natural areas of beauty and rebuilt confidence in our service users.


Self-esteem and confidence building are huge benefits of the Recovery through Nature programme, and are achieved through:

The activity: Influential therapeutic drivers include deferred gratification, ‘ownership’ of the activity, and physical, positive results                             

The environment: The power of being in and producing something with the natural environment is often under-valued

Relationships: Genuine bonding and team working with peers in real life / work settings


Participants of Recovery through Nature achieved a 41% higher successful completion rate than the national average.

Opiate users achieved a 75% higher successful completion rate than the national average.

What challenge does it offer to the participants?

Recovery through Nature challenges participants in a number of unique ways. These include:

  • taking ownership of conservation activities
  • working in an natural environment
  • team-working in real life work situations

Who are our partners?

Our partners in Scotland are: RSPB Scotland, John Muir Trust, John Muir Awards, Forestry Commission Scotland, North and South Lanarkshire Councils CAVLP – Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership, FEAT – Fife Employability Access Trust, Falkland Estate Fife and CAMBO at Kingsbarns Estate Fife.

How does the activity support long term recovery?

Participants report:

  • improved mental and physical health
  • increased self-esteem and confidence
  • enhanced belief in their ability to change



Want to develop, create or fund an activity?

We work with a wide range of partner organisations, volunteers and funders. If you have an interest in any of these areas and would like to make a positive difference get in touch and let's see what we can do together.

Contact Jon Hall, Commissioning & Development Manager, at


What our partners say

Forestry Commission Scotland

“Forest Enterprise Scotland has worked in partnership with Phoenix Futures for a number of years at Bluebell Wood by Johnstone. The project has produced excellent results by thinning woodland regeneration to improve the health of young trees and upgrading paths within the woodland for the benefit of public access. As an organisation we enjoy working with Phoenix and seeing positive results for their clients. We look forward to continued collaborations over the coming years" – Jim Williamson, Community and Visitor Services Manager, FES Scottish Lowlands


RSPB Scotland

“RSPB’s ongoing partnership with Phoenix Futures is perfect fit with our social inclusion policy which promotes opportunities to connect with nature in a way that is accessible to as wide an audience as possible. At participating reserves an incredible amount of work has been undertaken making a huge contribution to biodiversity and a healthy environment rich in wildlife. Their commitment to assisting us with work on our reserves has been both invaluable and rewarding in equal measure”.

node leader

Phoenix Futures is a registered charity in England and Wales (No 284880) and in Scotland (No SCO39008); Company Limited by Guarantee Number 1626869; Registered Provider of Social Housing with Homes England (H3795).