A network of projects linking care of the land with care for peoplecould be expanded to other areas following the launch of Care FarmingScotland.
Using farms and woodland activity, Care Farming provides the opportunity for people with health or social problems to gain work experience, confidence and self-esteem by working the land.
Richard Lochhead, cabinet secretary for rural affairs (pictured), who recently visited the Ballicherry Care Farm on the Black Isle, said: “Care farming is a win-win-win initiative for clients, land managers, land based industries and the community as a whole.
“We already have some long-established individual examples of care farming in different parts of the country, such as Ballicherry.
“Today sees the launch of a coordinated approach that will promote the initiative nationwide and boost the facilities available to help people improve the mental and physical health.”