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Housing association transforms sensory garden in north London care home


Housing association Peabody and partners have transformed the garden of a care home for 12 adults with learning disabilities in Barnsbury Park, Islington. 

Published: 11/07/2023

Knowing the sensory and play equipment had come to the end of its life, landscaping experts Bowles and Wyer overhauled the space to upgrade and landscape the garden ready for summer.  


It was designed by landscape architects Turkington Martin with residents to find out what matters to them most, and ensure the new garden suits each person’s needs and support plan. 


Private and communal spaces were created for the residents, their carers, and families. This means people can choose to enjoy the garden independently or socialise with others. 


Outdoor exercise is important to the residents, who will benefit from a new football goal, basketball hoop and trampoline, to encourage healthy active lifestyles.  


The garden has been designed with people’s sensory needs and preferences in mind. There is a textured surface to walk on, xylophone, water play and much more. The garden also offers comfortable seating with a barbeque and space to grow food. 


The new and improved garden has soft landscaping - including trees, hedges, and herbaceous planting.  


The care home is managed by care provider Learning Disability Network London, which offers specialist support on behalf of Islington Council. The garden was officially opened in a joint event on Friday 23 June, where residents enjoyed a summer barbeque and herb planting.   


Niroo, a parent of one resident, said: “Peabody has done a really good job on the garden. Before, there weren’t many flowers or trees. Now, there’s so much wildlife, and I can’t wait to see everything in bloom - the residents absolutely love it.  


“With the smell of lavender in the air and a beautiful water feature, it feels like an oasis in the city - or as if you’re in the countryside. I’m so impressed with the design; they’ve really thought about the complex needs of every resident.” 


Iain Shaw, Director of C&S Specialist Housing at Peabody, said: “The transformation of the Barnsbury Park garden is fantastic for residents. It’s important we adapt to changing needs and modernise external spaces so that residents can get outdoors, have fun, and learn new skills.  


“Good-quality outdoor space boosts mental and physical wellbeing, and they’ll enjoy a tranquil haven with fun activities and added wildlife benefits.”  


Jeremy Sheppard, Operations Manager at Learning Disability Network London, said: “The garden project at Barnsbury Park was a great example of collaboration between the people we support who live there, families, housing associations and contractors. The residents are delighted with their new garden and pleased to be part of the planning process.” 


Dan Riddleston, Managing Director at Bowles and Wyer, said: “Our team are extremely proud to have delivered this outstanding space for Peabody and the residents of Barnsbury Park.” 

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