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Local Directory

Sensory Garden

 

The Brooksbury Sensory Garden, which is accessible to all, has recently become an integral feature of the Brooksbury Playing Fields, located between Churchill Road and the Russell’s Meadow recreation ground, close to Church Stretton town centre.

The garden is the realised vision of local working mothers who have previously raised £80,000 to provide a children’s play area in the town. Over the last six years they have managed to build on their previous success by raising further funds for the project; their aim has been to create an inclusive, multi-sensory, fun and stimulating play area for children of all abilities.

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The ‘Wooden Spoon Charity,’ which exists to positively influence the lives of disadvantaged children and young people, donated £10,000 towards the Sensory Garden. The Local Joint Committee for the Stretton Dale, also donated £2000 towards plants and soil and the equivalent of £5,000 in terms of time and labour has been generously contributed by Mike Russell, a local Garden Designer and his team, an RHS award winning design and build company (http://www.designswithnature.co.uk/).The source of Mike Russell’s inspirational work was derived from the concept of an egg shaped rugby ball; this simultaneously reflects both the nature of the playing fields as well as representing the ‘Wooden Spoon’ charity, a partner of the UK Rugby Community. The rugby ball design is determined by eight outer flower beds, which serve to enclose the central garden display at ground level.

However, the inner area consists of five raised beds filled with plants for every season, including herbs such as Sage, Thyme, Rosemary and Lavender to provide sights, smells and differing textures for children to enjoy. Moreover, various grasses and Bamboo, as well as such flowering plants as Achillia and Knifophia, have been added for seasonal colour. The beds are bordered by attractive wooden supports which not only echo the circular nature of the design, but also include seating areas for rest and appreciation of the gentle Shropshire Hills. These benches are the result of Adrian Harrell’s craftsmanship, who gave approximately £1000 worth of free labour to benefit the project. Two adjacent arches will eventually be covered by fragrant Honeysuckle and Jasmine to further delight the senses.

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The fun addition of organic shaped ‘Talking Tubes’ are more than an aesthetic talking point as they supplement the garden’s sensory theme with their playful auditory function, which enables children to enjoy the fun of communicating, via these, from strategic points. The tubes were created by Jack Taylor of JDS Steelwork Ltd.

Another artistic feature is a winding labyrinth, the sets for which were donated by Mr and Mrs Reynolds. This spiralling pathway leads children on a journey to the centre, thereby creating another dynamic and interesting play element.

Both the existing and potential pleasures, afforded by the Brooksbury Sensory Garden, will no doubt continue to increase as the garden matures, benefitting not only the Church Stretton community, but all who pay the garden a visit. This will be a reward in itself for all those who have generously contributed their time, labour and resources to make this a truly multi-sensory, therapeutic as well as re-creational experience to be enjoyed by all.

Links :

For more pictures about the Sensory Garden

For more about Mike Russell's projects

Author: Josephine Burtenshaw 17th April 2013