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Sensory garden project at Elvaston Castle

In June 2011 the village plan committee started working with us to develop a sensory garden within the park, using plants and features which focus on all of our five senses.

Elvaston sensory garden

The sensory garden is located within a raised corner of the old English walled garden and was more recently used for the growing of herbs.

Community consultation took place during 2011 to 2012 with around 100 respondents giving their views on how they felt the area should be developed. These ideas have been included in our final plan and by May 2013, work had already begun.

In May 2013 Derbyshire County Council supported the community sensory garden project by reducing the gradient of the ramps into and out of the garden. A path was then constructed between them, making the garden more accessible to all, whilst linking the sensory garden to the existing old English garden path network.

Once the construction work was complete, over 30 volunteers came to the first community action day and worked hard to remove many of the existing, but 'tired' plants. Some of these were potted up to raise funds at the village fair, while some were saved for replanting. The beds were dug over and made ready to add soil improvers, before replanting with new and exciting sensory plants.

Two community workshops were then run with a local artist, to help design archways over the entrance and exit to the garden. The first workshop involved input from a large group of sight-impaired people, with the second workshop being open for all visitors to the park to take part in. The volunteers are now working hard to secure the funding to have these made and installed.

The village plan committee now has sponsors for most of the flower beds, but will be looking for further sponsorship from local businesses and organisations to help with the development of the project. All ideas and offers welcome!

Keep your eyes open for new and colourful benches (thank you East Midlands Airport - Community Fund), which aim to provide colour in the garden all year round.

If you'd like to be involved in the project as it continues, please contact Mags Gorman, email: