Sensory garden in the heart of Ballinalee village

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Ballinalee Sensory garden

The local community in Ballinalee is currently working to create a sensory garden and donations can be made online on www.gofundme.com, just search Ballinalee Sensory Garden

The local community in Ballinalee is currently working away, despite lockdown, on their exciting plans to create a sensory garden right in the heart of the village, and once completed it will be the first of its kind in the county.

But what is a sensory garden? It is a garden environment that is designed with the purpose of stimulating the senses.

This stimulation occurs courtesy of the plants and the use of materials that engage one's senses of sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing.

These types of gardens are popular with and beneficial to both children and adults, especially those who have sensory processing issues, including autism and other disabilities.

Sensory gardens also have proven therapeutic value. For example, people with disabilities (such as visual impairment or dementia) can enjoy nature in a safe and tactile environment.

Sensory gardens can also make a great contribution to emotional and physical health. They can be beautiful places to relax, reflect, meditate, contemplate and talk.

Fragrant blooms have long been known to have a therapeutic effect on the senses. This type of garden can help to reduce stress and anxiety by providing a place to escape to and take time out. The power of scent can affect your mood, appetite and concentration.

Time spent in natural environments can provide a range of health benefits, including reduced stress and lowered blood pressure. Most gardens offer visual appeal, but a sensory garden will stimulate all the senses.

Unfortunately, as we age some of our senses can become impeded or lost. In these instances, a sensory garden which is stimulating to a wider range of senses, can create a much more immersive experience.

This is hugely rewarding for those who have experienced debilitation of their senses, as it can stimulate old memories and help them to re-experience this every-day enjoyment, which so many of us take for granted.

The garden will be in the centre of the village, adjoining onto the existing playground. It will include many different features, surfaces, objects, and plants to create this sensory experience.

From the garden the community aims to achieve a place for education and recreation; somewhere that is both calming, therapeutic, accessible, and exciting, and also be a place that will enrich the rural landscape, biodiversity and boost community wellbeing.

Much funding needed to complete this project has been allocated but community funding is also an important part of the project and donations can be made online on www.gofundme.com, just search Ballinalee Sensory Garden.

There is also a Facebook page for Ballinalee Sensory Garden where progress updates are regularly made. There has never been a better time for such a project and for people to get back outside and enjoy nature on their doorstep and hopefully this will be a great place to do just that.