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West Gorton Community Park celebrates opening of new Sensory Garden

On Saturday 10th June, the Friends of West Gorton Community Park officially opened their new sensory garden.

After 6 months of planning, the day had finally arrived and the sun shone as over 50 people came to the park to join in a special celebration complete with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, speeches, tours, and refreshments.

The Lord Mayor Manchester Yasmine Dar said of the event: “I was delighted to officially open Manchester’s first ever Sensory Garden this morning, a fantastic open space for all to enjoy and have fun”

The event marked a huge achievement for the Friends group. Made up of local residents, the group was formed in 2022, and with the support of Groundwork, has gone from strength to strength, enhancing the park and running a range of community events.

The sensory garden is their latest achievement and has been supported by the Northern Network and the Parks in Partnership Fund of Manchester City Council and is the only one of its kind in Manchester!

Sensory gardens are designed to make people more aware of their surroundings by stimulating the senses of touch, sight, sense, taste, and hearing.

The contents of the garden have been chosen and planted by local residents, with support and direction from Groundwork’s landscape architects and community workers. It includes scented plant choices such as lemon balm and lavender, as well as edible food growing beds with herbs, fruit, and vegetables.

It is hoped that by providing such a dynamic and vibrant space, the new garden will enable more people to connect with nature and enhance their feelings of wellbeing and mindfulness.

Suzanne, one of our Northern Network project facilitators for Groundwork Greater Manchester said: “It’s been great fun working with the Friends group to create this shared space. Together, we’ve been planning, creating, and planting ready for the grand opening since January, and it’s great to finally see this moment. The group have taken full ownership of the garden and are looking forward to seeing people visit, and engage with it.”  

Afzal Khan, MP for Manchester, Gorton, who was also present for the opening said: “It was a privilege to be at today’s grand opening of Manchester’s first ever sensory garden along with our Lord Mayor. West Gorton Community Park is a huge asset to our community, and I am proud to see this great work continuing.”

You can take a look at the new sensory garden for yourself at West Gorton Community Park’s open day as part of our Big Green Festival on 5th July. Drop-in anytime 2pm – 4pm to meet the team and take part in a range of activities.

You can also find out more about the park here…

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