Sensory Garden shortlisted for national design awards

David Pope, the landscape architect behind the Sensory Gardens project in Lancing
David Pope, the landscape architect behind the Sensory Gardens project in Lancing

THE success of Lancing’s Sensory Garden project was recognised when it reached the finals of a national garden-design competition.

The garden, designed by David Pope of The Project Centre, was shortlisted for the 2013 Society of Garden Designers (SGD) award for Designing in the Community.

Landscape architect Mr Pope said the hard work of Lancing residents had deservedly put the village on the garden-design map.

“One of the rewards of being a landscape architect is making a positive change to a place like Wenceling Garden in Lancing, and seeing your work appreciated and enjoyed by others,” he said.

“To have my design recognised by the Society of Garden Designers as worthy of being a finalist in their annual awards is really the icing on the cake.

“It doesn’t matter that we didn’t win in our category – to see pictures of our little garden up on a big screen next to the work of the UK’s top designers was deeply satisfying.”

The project was instigated by the Lancing Regeneration community group and funded through a combination of the Adur Pot of gold, funds from West Sussex County Council, Lancing Parish Council, Lancing and Sompting Lions, the Sussex Gardens Trust, Southern Water and Sussex Police, and through other private donations.

It was coordinated by Lydia Schilbach, of Red Hen Projects, who said seeing all the effort recognised at a national level was hugely rewarding.

“Lancing’s Sensory Garden Project was a community project from start to finish with a relatively small budget and a tight time-scale,” said Ms Schilbach.

“This standard of high-quality design should be something that local councils, developers and communities should be constantly working towards in Lancing.

The competition’s judges said they were looking at the circumstances behind the garden design and the affect it had had on the community that used it.

SGD chairman Juliet Sargeant said the annual SGD awards had gone from strength to strength.

“Members of the SGD undertake every kind of exterior project that you could imagine,” she said.

“The SGD awards has burst onto the landscaping scene and I am tremendously proud of the excellent standard of entries received and the exciting showcase it has become.”

Work begins this month on Headborough Gardens.