Chippenham sensory garden needs volunteers after facelift by green group

This Is Wiltshire: The Nature Of It’s founding officer Camillia Merrett and son Ciaran with the organisation’s founder Leanne Taylor in the garden area at John Coles Park The Nature Of It’s founding officer Camillia Merrett and son Ciaran with the organisation’s founder Leanne Taylor in the garden area at John Coles Park

The sensory garden in John Coles Park will get a fresh look, feel, smell and taste from environmental community group The Nature Of It.

The Chippenham-based not-for-profit group wants volunteers to help maintain the garden once it has been redeveloped.

Work will start next month and planned opening day is Easter Saturday, April 19, in a ceremony with the Mayor of Chippenham, Councillor Sylvia Gibson.

As well as colours of seasonal bulbs such as tulips or daffodils, there may be strong smelling plants like sage and lemon balm, tactile ones like soft and fluffy lambs’ ears and strong as steel bamboo, and a sweet tasting selection including raspberries.

The Nature Of It’s founder, Leanne Taylor, said: “We’re excited about the garden. The project aims to inspire growing and sustainable living.

“The plants have therapeutic benefits. For children with visual impairment they offer sensory stimulation.

“We’re going to put raised beds in and clad them with wood to soften them up.

“It will be sympathetic to its original purpose and also retain dedicated benches.”

Adrian Jones, head of service delivery at Chippenham Town Council, said: “We are delighted to support this community garden initiative at our popular and much appreciated John Coles Park.

“The sensory garden was showing its age and in need of a facelift and we are delighted to work in partnership with The Nature of It.”

The garden will be open in park opening hours and community groups, charities and schools will be able to book it for free.

To join the garden volunteer group email admin@thenatureofit.org or call (01249) 447011. No experience is needed, just enthusiasm.

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