Sounds and smells of Heaney’s poetry come alive at Seamus Heaney HomePlace

June 20, 2018

A new sensory garden has been opened at Seamus Heaney HomePlace in Bellaghy by the Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Sean McPeake and local students from Killronan Primary.

The launch, which took place on 19th June showcased the garden based outdoor exhibition which brings to life Seamus Heaney’s poems, thorough using the five senses to illustrate them.

Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Sean McPeake officially opened the Sensory Garden and hung the wind chimes with the school children before the students explored the Sensory Garden through their senses, saying,

“The Council and its facilities are at the heart of our community and people are at the centre of what we do. We are committed to designing and delivering our services around those accessing them, and the new sensory garden is a perfect example of this. With an environment covering all five senses it will offer a richer and more therapeutic experience to a range of people with different needs.”

The sensory garden is a self-contained area that concentrates a wide range of sensory experiences. It provides a valuable resource for a wide range of uses, from education to recreation.

What distinguishes this sensory garden from a traditional garden environment is the considered inclusion of features with particular sensory qualities, creating a stimulating and beneficial environment. Particular features within the garden that have sensory qualities include: signs with Braille, interactive pens that recite poetry, fully functioning water well, plants and flowers.

As well as being used recreationally, the garden will provide space for extending the existing HomePlace Education Programme. HomePlace hope the Sensory Garden will provide a means of engaging students with nature and the landscape so that they may increase and develop knowledge and understanding.

At the event students from Killronan Primary, a local school for children with learning difficulties, visited the Creative Zone at HomePlace to read books and decorate wind chimes.

The Seamus Heaney HomePlace Sensory Garden will be opened to the public from 20th June 2018 as part of the overall exhibition experience. Tickets for the exhibition can be bought here.