Prison plants joy with ‘new’ sensory garden

Rossmar pupils Croise and Brooke with Principal Brian McLaughlin and David Eagleson, Governor of Magilligan Prison.
Rossmar pupils Croise and Brooke with Principal Brian McLaughlin and David Eagleson, Governor of Magilligan Prison.

Children at Rossmar Special School in Limavady are enjoying the colour, scents, sounds and touch of a new sensory garden, thanks to Magilligan Prison.

Building on strong community relations already established in the area, Prison Governor David Eagleson generously responded to an appeal from a teacher at Rossmar School to lend a helping hand in the garden project.

Prison gardener Dave Taylor was tasked to craft and develop a small plot of land within the school grounds on Ballyquin Road where special needs pupils could stimulate senses through colour, scents, sounds and touch. Dave said with a few large wooden planters already in place on site, he was able to use them to begin with.

“With permission of the Governor I took a few plants from the prison to create part of the garden - Lavender, Thyme, Sage, Bottle Brush and Rosemary are all ideal plants to stimulate the senses,” said Dave, “and then I added a bird feeder and bird table, some stepping stones and a playscape.

“We plan to help maintain the garden and hopefully next year develop it some more.”

Prison Governor David Eagleson, who visited the garden recently, said: “Magilligan prides itself on being part of the local community.

“I’m delighted we have been able to assist in the building of this new sensory garden. I hope it brings much enjoyment to the many pupils at Rossmar.”

Rossmar Principal, Brian McLaughlin, said: “The new garden has transformed part of the school and created a sensory experience for our pupils which they never had before.”

. I can’t thank enough Magilligan Prison, the Governor and gardener Dave Taylor. Their efforts will bring a lot of enjoyment to all of our 118 pupils.”