Since the closure of Nature’s World in 2013 the carefully maintained gardens and water features have been taken over by nature and lost their individual identity. The main culprits are the brambles and sedge which thrive in the forgotten gardens, cover paths and make access difficult.

Despite this, the former Nature’s World site has transformed into a wonderful, biodiverse, green space and a habitat for local wildlife. It is an absolute treat as volunteers to reveal the hidden paths and secret gardens. “Nature’s World” is no longer an eco centre but has become something very unique and special. A hidden gem in urban Middlesbrough.

The Friends of Nature’s World were given council permission in 2014 to work on the gardens and occasionally open parts of the site for the public, to host conservation-based events and activities. Their annual apple picking event in partnership with Middlesbrough Environment City (also based on part of the former Nature’s World site) is always very popular, with some of the organic apples going to local charities. Families also get to take some of the apples home to make a delicious apple crumble.

As Nature’s World is not a landscaped area or parkland, volunteers work sensitively with nature, to create new habitats for wildlife and ensure the protection of endangered species, both animal and plant life on the site. We work in partnership with Hoggy Stockton Rescue (a non-profit organisation) who help sick and injured hedgehogs. Once rehabilitated, we release them into our Hedgehog Garden. Friends of Nature’s World also host workshops throughout the year for our members to learn a variety of skills from each other, such as; foraging, composting, permaculture and useful plants. As a group we try to remain loyal to the original ethos of Nature’s World, to be respectful of nature & the environment, to re-use & recycle.

FONW Aims & Objectives

The aims and objectives of the Friends of Nature’s World organisation are:

a. To demonstrate the importance of retaining Nature’s World as a green space in Middlesbrough.

b. To demonstrate, raise awareness and promote the benefits of retaining Nature’s World as a greenspace resource for the local & regional community.

c. To work sensitively with nature, to create new habitats for wildlife and ensure the protection of endangered species, both animal and plant life on the site.

d. To involve local volunteers in continuing to maintain the gardens, water features and incorporate undergrowth and open wild, green areas.

e. To actively demonstrate through the volunteer effort how Nature’s World could be used to promote a green and sustainable Middlesbrough.

f. To actively demonstrate how Nature’s World is an asset to Middlesbrough and can be used as a resource to benefit the local community.

g. To raise and maintain the public profile of Nature’s World through the media and organised community events to demonstrate public support for Nature’s World as a valuable community resource.

h. To provide hands-on experience working outdoors and share skills and knowledge

i. To involve the local community in activities that promote conservation and protection of local wildlife on the site.

j. As Natures World is not a landscaped area or parkland, volunteers will work towards managing and supporting a biodiverse greenspace and habitat.

k. To work towards applying to register Nature’s World as a local wildlife site or Nature Reserve.

Volunteering should be an enjoyable & relaxed experience.
Your skills & ideas are welcome and we do not operate under a hierarchical group structure.
There’s no pressure to come every week, just as and when you can.

We currently have a number of regular volunteers on a Thursday and our family-friendly Saturday group started in January 2018.

For more information email: or register via Middlesbrough Council Volunteer Natures World