Friends of Northampton’s Abington Park launch fund-raising campaign for sensory garden revamp

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The sensory garden in Northampton’s Abington Park will be revamped under new plans revealed by the Friends group.

The garden was established in the 1970s and was designed mainly to meet the needs of sight-impaired visitors. It has long been overgrown despite the best efforts of volunteers from the Friends of Abington Park who regularly work there to keep it in check and so it has been decided to completely renovate the area.

A spokesman for the group said the Friends of Abington Park were undertaking the project in co-operation with Jason Toyne, the park ranger, and Peter Hackett, who is co-ordinating the plans for work on behalf of the borough council. Barry Ryan is leading the work for the Friends.

“To date they have cleared and cleaned the former water feature, long ago abandoned after being repeatedly vandalised,” the spokesman added.

The spokesman said the garden would be renovated in stages. The area of the water feature would become a hard standing area with a decorative central mosaic design – all intended to allow easy access for anyone with limited mobility to create a quiet area to sit and spend quiet time, he added.

“The paths within the garden will be resurfaced and improved. Planting will be designed to create an area that will be of interest all the year round, with specially selected plants to create sensory interest.

“Friends are in the process of raising funds for the project, which requires considerable support. To date, they have received some personal donations as well as support from Councillor Danielle Stone. Plans are in hand for some fund-raising events over coming months as well as external funds.

“In addition to funding, they also need volunteers as this is a community-based project. Help is needed with parts of the work to keep down overall costs and complete the project in good time,” the spokesman said.

If you would like to know more about the project or if you can offer to help in any way as an individual or a group the Friends would love to hear from you. They can be contacted at friendsofabingtonpark@gmail.com or see their website (abingtonpark.org.uk) for more details.