Councillor Andrew Gibson, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Culture, Recreation and Countryside, said: “The Lepe Point Sensory Cottage Garden is a special addition to the site. It’s a dedicated space which encourages visitors, whether it’s through recreation or education, to excitingly explore lots of different senses such as sight, smell and sound in such a tranquil setting. We hope the garden will be well used as it flourishes through the summer and beyond.”
The Friends of Lepe have worked hard to clear the site at Lepe Point, the Park’s local nature reserve, of vegetation to make way for the new elements on what would have been the site of the Solent Cottage garden. The new garden, which has been designed primarily for the disabled, schools and community organisations, has features including a bug hotel, a pond and water feature, bog garden, a wildflower garden and a pagoda for climbing plants. Varied pathways take visitors around so they can enjoy the abundance of flowers such as lavender, hydrangeas, azaleas and petunias on foot or from the seating area.
Cllr Gibson added: “Our thanks go to everyone who has helped in the garden’s creation since work began early last year, with donations of money, time, equipment and expertise all gratefully received. We hope to add to the sensory features over time, including bubble lights, mirrors and chimes so keep returning regularly to see the additions.”
Staff from Hampshire County Council joined the Friends in inviting Mrs Gilly Drummond OBE DL to open the Sensory Cottage Garden on 1 July in front of representatives from Friends of Lepe along with those from local community organisations and stakeholders.The unveiling of the Sensory Cottage Garden is the latest milestone in the £2.7m transformation of Lepe Country Park, which is due for completion in Summer 2018.