Open Day of Sensory Garden at Mountlucas Wind Farm
I was thrilled to officially open the new Sensory Garden at Mountlucas Wind Farm. The garden developed by Bord na Móna will provide children and adults alike with the opportunity to gain physical and mental stimulation in an outdoor environment.
The Garden a haven of sorts; is a place to enjoy and explore and a place of peace and tranquillity. The Sensory Garden bursting with sounds, scents, and textures stimulates all five senses and appeal massively to children with special needs and adults with dementia. The space holds a range of interactive features for the whole family to enjoy, including a Sensory Path, Busy Board and Music Board. The Sensory Path is wheelchair friendly making it inclusive and enjoyable for all families to enjoy.
John Reilly, Head of Renewable Energy and Catherine Swaine, Advocacy Coordinator, at Bord na Móna said that it is their key focus to develop Mountlucas wind farm in a way that the local community benefitted.
The new garden will benefit both children and adults with sensory processing issues and it is a great addition to the 10km of public amenity facilities that are used for cycling, walking, and running.
We know that sensory gardens improve physical fitness, health, mood and cognition. Gardening and plant care help children to develop gross and fine motor skills. Time outdoors, breathing fresh air, and being exposed to sunlight are extremely beneficial to overall physical health.
Sensory gardens have many therapeutic benefits. They help develop important life skills including emotional regulation and self-reliance. As children spend time in the garden, waiting patiently for a seed to sprout and a flower to bloom, they gain an understanding of time and develop the attributes of patience and persistence.
Catherine Swaine said that the Garden will provide "a space that has a variety of colours, textures and surfaces to provide visitors with a wide range of sensory experiences. The colourful planting in the Garden has also been specially chosen to support a sensory experience. It is fantastic to see so many people enjoying it”.
I would like to congratulate all those who have worked on this project, in particular Catherine Swaine, who had the vision for the Sensory Garden. That vision is now realised, and I would encourage you to visit - it truly fills the senses.
Mountlucas Wind Farm
Mountlucas Wind Farm is located on Mountlucas bog, which consists of 1,100 hectares of cutaway Peatlands near Daingean, Co. Offaly. The Mountlucas bog forms part of the Derrygreenagh group of bogs that straddles the counties of Kildare, Offaly and Westmeath.