Russell Park ‘Time Gardens’ to become vibrant sensory oasis

The Time Gardens in Russell Park. Image: Bedford Borough Council
The Time Gardens in Russell Park. Image: Bedford Borough Council

Funding from the East London Foundation (ELFT) NHS Trust has kickstarted a project to refurbish the Time Gardens at Russell Park to create a sensory-rich environment for visitors – and nature – to enjoy.

Bedford Borough Council’s Parks and Open Space Team and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Team have collaborated with the NHS Trust and the Bedford Borough Parent Carer Forum to transform the central section of the existing Time Gardens into a serene sensory oasis.

The project, supported by £40,000 in funding secured through the ELFT, is retaining the existing modernist design and the garden’s distinctive coloured pathways while enhancing the space to provide a space for relaxation and engagement with nature.

The work began this week (Monday, 15 April) and will last approximately six weeks. The garden will feature predominantly pollinator-friendly planting and incorporate bug hotels, some of which were made at an event organised by the Bedford Borough Parent Carer Forum, emphasising the collaborative spirit driving this initiative.

“We are excited to bring this project to life, not only rejuvenating the Time Gardens but also creating a welcoming space where individuals of all abilities can unwind and connect with nature,” said Claire Pick, environmental development and viability officer at Bedford Borough Council.

“This collaboration underscores our commitment to inclusivity and community engagement in enhancing our public spaces.”

Kerri Rennie, Bedford Borough Parent Carer Forum (BBPCF) said: “This will be a great addition to improve and enhance our parks and outdoor spaces, bringing communities together to improve health and wellbeing.

“Thank you to all who have contributed to bringing this project to life.”

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