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Sensory Garden in the Attenborough Nature Centre
By Hati Whiteley
03, May, 2017
Providing an accessible and interactive space to inspire engagement with wildlife
Back in June last year the Alpkit Foundation had the opportunity to help out with the development of the Attenborough Nature Centre Sensory Garden. The Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust planned to enlist the helping hands of the Erewash VIPs, a group for visually impaired, to create a more interactive and accessible space for individuals to discover wildlife. Almost a year down the line, here's how they got on with their project.
Based just down the road in Attenborough, Nottingham, the Attenborough Nature Centre is an eco-friendly visitor and education facility managed by the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust.
As part of a larger project to develop the sensory garden, volunteers worked with the Erewash VIP group to build sensory planters, fill to the brim with soil and plant life, and make sensory labels to create an even more engaging environment.
At the beginning of the project, the Nottingham Wildlife Trust explained their aims and motivation:
"Our aim is to encourage people to discover wildlife and to inspire the appreciation of the natural world by providing the opportunity for individuals to learn new skills and be involved in the community. "
The project was a success: smaller planters were created for the Eyewash VIPs to take home with them, whilst larger planters with sensory labels became centrepieces of the garden. The centre hopes that the planters will not only showcase tips and ideas for improving green spaces for wildlife, but will serve as a legacy from the Erewash group to other visitors too.
Now complete, the garden provides an accessible learning environment for the general public, school children, and community groups including dementia sufferers, as Angelena from the Nottingham Wildlife Trust explains:
"The garden is a safe and enclosed environment for these groups to explore and experience nature and hopefully be inspired to improve and protect the natural environment in their own green spaces and gardens."
The Alpkit Foundation supports projects that enable people to overcome the obstacles preventing them from Going Nice Places and Doing Good Things.
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