Sensory Garden and Outdoor Classroom for a School in Leytonstone

A school in Leytonstone had received special designation and funding and wanted to encourage a wide age range of their pupils to become more interested and involved in plants and wildlife – in fact, nature generally.

We were asked to design a facility suitable for all children, capable of accommodating those who may have physical disabilities, that might be used as an outdoor classroom and for project-based nature study.

A sensory garden, set in elevated beds for ease of maintenance by the able-bodied and ease of viewing for others, separated taste, touch, sound and smell. All-weather paths were constructed for ease of access and the ‘sound’ garden area incorporated a solar-powered water feature.

A natural pond with a dipping platform and planted attracts a range of wildlife and marginal hedges were laid by our Master Hedgelayer so that students could be informed on this ancient craft and its purpose.

Habitat piles to attract invertebrates were left for future exploration, along with insect observatories

The project was completed by the construction of an outdoor classroom set in a small clearing, comprising a horseshoe of green oak benches.

We are pleased to say that the ‘wildlife garden’ has continued to develop and is now used by other local schools by arrangement. We were invited to attend a presentation made by the original school’s pupils to teaching staff from elsewhere, the former working hard to sell the benefits of their very own ‘slice of nature’. Very exciting!