£10,000 sensory garden unveiled

A new sensory garden in Birmingham’s Perry Hall Park has received the mayoral seal of approval following a £10,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Shafique Shah, officially opened the garden, which was developed by the Friends of Perry Hall Park working with Birmingham City Council and Glendale.

Friends of Perry Hall Park applied for the funding at the beginning of last year after receiving support from local schools and day centres.

The group was successful in the bid and received an additional donation of £250 from Glendale, which was used to buy plants for the garden.

Glendale carried out the initial preparation and site clearance in November 2013 and installed pergolas and arbour seating when the work began in February under contractors RMF Landscaping.

Volunteers from Glendale donated their time and use of the company’s machinery to complete the works.

The Rangers service and members of the community also showed their support, helping out with planting, weeding, stone turning and donating plants for the garden.

Sensory gardens are designed to provide sensory opportunities that users may not normally experience.

Helen Banks, secretary to the Friends of Perry Hall Park said: “Receiving the Lottery Grant has been fantastic for the park and Glendale has supported the development of this lovely garden all the way, from clearing the site through to putting arbours and gazebos together and creating a welcome entrance.  We were so grateful for all the support and encouragement the company gave us.”

Tod Hale, contract manager at Glendale said: “The official opening was very well attended which demonstrates the strong community support for projects like this one.  Dave Hetherington and George Faraday, our park keepers, put in a lot of work before the day so everything ran like a well-oiled machine.

“This has been an exciting project to be involved with and the sensory garden will be a great asset to the area.  Schools have already commented on how the space will benefit their students for the learning opportunities it offers, and we hope the garden encourages people of all ages into the park.

“We’ve worked very closely with everyone involved and it’s been a great team and partnership effort to make the sensory garden project such a success.”

Perry Hall Park has just received prestigious Green Flag status, awarded to green spaces which are considered to be the best in the UK in terms of being welcoming, clean, well-maintained, safe and with particular attention paid to conservation.

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