Barnstondale is located within a rural setting and is surrounded by over 12 acres of woodland. The trail provides a relaxing and stimulating outdoor space, aimed at engaging visitors with the environment around them. The first phase of the project began in April last year and was completed that Autumn. A garden was created that features a sheltered decking, stone path, water features and huge planters filled with perennial foliage plants, chosen specifically for the smells and textures. Local tradesmen then began work installing the trail, which includes textures, surfaces, musical instruments and balance ramps. Large animal statues and hand-crafted seats complete the experiential element.
George Jones, centre manager at Barnstondale said,: “Barnstondale’s aim is to be accessible to everyone. We’ve created a space that is designed for all our visitors to enjoy and it is a great way for them to experience the local rural environment.
“The garden and sensory trail is an exciting development for Barnstondale, and it’s one that all the team is very proud of. We are always looking to develop and improve our facilities, enabling us to offer services that modern customers want and enhancing the visitor’s experience. We hope to include elements of the trail to other parts of the site in the future.”
The Lord-Lieutenant who is patron of Barnstondale said, : “It is an honour to be Patron of Barnstondale, which has stood as a charity in one form or another for over 100 years. What I find most charming about this inspirational place is that the sun never sets at Barnstondale. Children are always active, always playing and always smiling when they come here.
I am an advocate for social inclusion and child development, which Barnstondale excels at. It gives me great pleasure to have opened this sensory trail on behalf of the charity, which marks another significant moment in its history.”