About Phytology

The Phytology Medicinal Garden was established at Bethnal Green Nature Reserve in 2014. This urban physic garden provides free food and medicine for local and surrounding communities.

Generally regarded as weeds, the plants in the garden have been selected for their historic and ongoing use in phytotherapy*, traditional and conventional medicine. The garden has been sown with over thirty varieties of plants common to the streets of London and urban ecosystems across the country.

Plants include: Yarrow, White Dead-Nettle, Common Mallow, Marshmallow, Ribwort Plantain, Broadleaf Plantain, Dandelion, Red Clover, Feverfew, Chamomile, Cowslip, Elecampane, Mugwort, St John's Wort, Cleavers, Comfrey and Common Nettle etc.

Visitors are invited to harvest from the garden with the support of the Phytology team. The meadow grows in pollution-free soil to ensure our plants are safe from contamination and suitable for daily use.

Phytology is a community-led project exploring the value of complex ecosystems within the urban landscape.

* Phytotherapy is the study of the use of extracts of natural origin as medicines or health-promoting agents.

Opening Times

We host weekly volunteer sessions each Saturday 11am – 1pm, 6th May till 25th November, 2023.

The Nature Reserve will be open for drop-in visits each Saturday 2pm – 5pm, 6th May till 25th November, 2023. No prior booking is required during this time.

Volunteering ~ Winter 2023/24

Over the winter months we take some time off to rest and restore the land. This dormancy period is also when the site team plan for the spring and summer months. Over winter will be holding occasional volunteer sessions. Ensuring the site remains accessible to anyone curious to learn about the Nature Reserve.

Winter volunteer dates:

  • 11am – 1pm Saturday, 16th December 2023
  • 11am – 1pm Saturday, 20th January 2024
  • 11am – 1pm Saturday, 17th February 2024
  • 11am – 1pm Saturday, 16th March 2024
  • 11am – 1pm Saturday, 6th April 2024

Please use this link to register your availability to join our winter sessions.

Please get in touch if you would like more information when planing your visit – info@bethnalgreennaturereserve.org

Please check our calendar or social media for updates on our events schedule or email our team directly to arrange a site visit.

Bethnal Green Nature Reserve, Middleton Street, Bethnal Green, E2 London


Phytology is a Nomad Projects commission - supported by the Cape Farewell, Wellcome Trust, Grow Back Greener Fund

©2024 Phytology