Friends of Abington Park bring vandal-hit sensory garden back to life in Northampton

Abington Park, Northampton
Abington Park, Northampton

A new sensory garden created by the Friends of Abington Park will officially open later this month.

In 1979, Councillor Walmseley was concerned to ensure that Abington Park offered facilities to those with sensory deprivation, principally with sight loss.

Since that time the once-attractive central water feature became abandoned and vandalised and finally completely stagnant. The surrounding flower beds overgrown and purposeless.

The Friends of Abington Park have been working for years to keep the area tidy and usable but some three years ago took the momentous decision to renew the garden.

Working alongside the borough council, and local and national funding bodies they have raised the necessary £25,000 which, together with an enormous amount of volunteer input, has led to the development of a renewed area suitable for the park of 2017.

The central area is now hard standing with access for wheelchairs and buggies, a new entry arch marks the pathway to the centre where a beautiful locally-crafted mosaic sits at the centre with three aromatically planted corner beds within that area. The surrounding beds have been specially designed and planted to provide year-round interest and features.

Mayor Christopher Malpas will open the new garden on Sunday April 30 at 12.30pm. At the same time the new entry arch will be dedicated by Anne Jones whose husband Michael was a long-time sponsor and patron of the park. Everyone is welcome to join the celebrations on Sunday.

Anne Stevens, secretary, Friends of Abington Park, said: "As the garden develops and matures over coming years, we hope that it will bring please to future generations of all ages and provide a place of quiet contemplation and a haven of peace.

"Thank you to everyone who helped to make this possible," Anne added.