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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Sensory experience opens at Carnfunnock Country Park

Mayor Ald Geraldine Mulvenna, pictured with Cllr Maeve Donnelly (Mae Murray Foundation), with Council Officers Tara McAleese (Principal Parks Officer), Lindsay Houston (Parks Dev Manager), Kerry Fokkens (Principal Parks Duty Officer), Chris Wood (Woodland Engagement Officer), and Stephen Dines (Playground Inspector).

Mayor Ald Geraldine Mulvenna, pictured with Cllr Maeve Donnelly (Mae Murray Foundation), with Council Officers Tara McAleese (Principal Parks Officer), Lindsay Houston (Parks Dev Manager), Kerry Fokkens (Principal Parks Duty Officer), Chris Wood (Woodland Engagement Officer), and Stephen Dines (Playground Inspector).


Mid and East Antrim Borough Council recently celebrated the official opening of the new sensory experience in Carnfunnock Country Park.

 

The design of the new sensory area was developed in consultation with local user groups to create an area within the park to stimulate the senses while also providing a calm haven for all to enjoy.  

 


A wide range of equipment has been installed suitable for children of all ages and abilities, as well as new accessible pathways and a picnic bench.


Sensory garden set on a green hill overlooking the Irish Sea

Bringing together selected trees, musical instruments, landscape features and a flowing walkway - Council has created an area in which visitors are encouraged to use all their senses through sound, water, air, wildlife and the texture of the trees.

 

The sensory area is just one part of a bigger initiative, working towards creating an Autism Friendly Borough.



Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna, said:


“I am thrilled to see the new sensory area opening at Carnfunnock Country Park - this has been a much sought after area for many families and is a fantastic addition to the park. I hope the new sensory area will encourage families, schools and community groups with sensory needs to visit and enjoy together.

 

Council representatives planting a tree to mark the opening of sensory garden at Carnfunnock Country Park

“We want our open spaces to be enjoyed by everyone and developments like this play an important part in doing that.”

 

This new sensory area was funded by the Department for Communities via the Access and Inclusion Programme which aims to promote a more inclusive society by enabling people with disabilities to fully participate in arts, cultural and active recreation activities.



£30,000 was awarded by the Department through this fund which supported the project through the purchase of accessible and inclusive equipment, with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council contributing an additional £3,000.

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