Natural Garden Programme

A natural garden is a unique way of connecting people with surrounding nature, where we share the space in the garden with the animals and plants that belong to the place. The "Natural Gardens" certification is an initiative of the federal state of Lower Austria. The project reached the Czech Republic in 2001 and is carried out by the Czech Natural Garden Association.

Those who are awarded the 'Natural Garden' certificate have every reason to be proud of their garden, because of its valuable contribution to environmental protection. Natural gardeners respect every animal and various plants that have chosen such a garden as their home.
There are 540 certified Natural Gardens in the Czech Republic, of which 103 are 'show-case gardens. They are gardens of various types, from public areas, through school gardens, production gardens to private gardens.


Natural Garden Programme

Useful links

In the UK, the Wildlife Trust have ideas on how to help wildlife in school

Garden Organic offer support to schools with organic gardening





'There are many projects that support schools with growing vegetables - find one that you can join and display your certificate with pride!'

How is the project linked to climate change & sustainability? 

Natural Gardens make a significant contribution to increasing biodiversity, promoting the gentle management of rainwater and creating a suitable environment for wildlife. Such places have a positive effect on the climate, regulate air humidity, capture dust particles and reduce noise pollution.

No peat, no fertilizers and no pesticides. These three main criteria must be met by every certified Natural Garden. A further 10 criteria out of 15 in total must be met - these include species diversity in natural turf, orchards, use of rainwater, composting, hedges of wild shrubs and more. If these criteria are met, the garden owners are awarded the "Natural Garden" certificate.

Who is involved? 

Schools are able to get involved with the programme and their gardens can also strive for the certificate. Teachers and pupils can learn about the Natural Garden programme criteria and then create various natural habitats for wildlife. The award of the Natural Garden certificate is two-tiered: The basic Natural Garden award is a small hedgehog plaque, whilst those achieving as showcase Natural Garden receive the large hedgehog plaque.

How are the participants involved? 

Every school should provide pupils with the opportunity to observe natural processes with their own eyes, try growing vegetables and herbs and be proud of their harvest. School gardens are great places to do all these activities. 

Any school garden can be awarded a 'Showcase Natural Garden' certificate if it meets the basic criteria and several others related to educational functions of the garden. These area that the school garden is used for teaching; students participate in the maintenance and operation of the garden and grow themselves; students and teachers have awareness of the meaning and purpose of a natural garden and can explain the basic principles.

Key steps:

What you need to do to get the Natural Garden certificate:

Three key criteria: 
1.    No artificial mineral fertilisers
2.    No pesticides, herbicides and chemical sprays
3.    No peat for soil preparation

Natural elements in the garden
• wild shrubs / hedge of wild shrubs
• flowery meadow with wild plants / natural meadow
• flowery lawn / natural lawn with wild herbs
• wild vegetation
• wet or dry habitats
• deciduous trees and domestic conifers
• domestic ecologically valuable flowers and blooming perennials

Do you meet three basic criteria + 7 points for natural elements in the garden + 5 points for garden management?

If YES, you can obtain the Natural Garden certificate!