News. Place Projects - 14 October 2021

Sensory gardens, wildflower meadows and tree planting – landscape works progress at the YMCA Village in Newark

Newark-based landscape architect Influence Environmental is working on designs for the childcare and play provision areas of YMCA Newark and Sherwood’s Community and Activity Village.

The transformational project on Lord Hawke Way, which is now in phase two of construction works, will provide facilities and programmes that focus on empowering local young people to belong, contribute and thrive.

Influence Environmental was chosen as landscape partner on the project by YMCA Newark and Sherwood in 2017. The company’s designs include sensory gardens for children and their families to enjoy, the planting of specific plants and trees and a wildflower meadow – all to attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

The landscape is designed to support the learning of children within the Village. It is also hoped that creating habitats that enable pollinators to thrive will encourage them to populate wider urban spaces and support habitats in other areas in and around Newark.

Designs for phase one of the YMCA Village, which saw the creation of outdoor provisions such as the 3G football pitches and a six-lane athletics track, included the retention and enhancement of grassland and landscape habitats.

D2N2 LEP has supported the YMCA Community and Activity Village with a £2.2 million investment from the Local Growth Fund.

A positive wellbeing impact

Todd Cauthorn, executive director at YMCA Newark and Sherwood, said: “Environmental sustainability and the conservation of our outdoor nature spaces play an important role in our charity’s commitment to championing social responsibility.

“We want to reconnect children with nature, and it is encouraging that Influence is similarly keen to energise these areas to celebrate the positive wellbeing impact that sensory gardens and tree planting will bring to our community’s young people. It will be our pleasure to invite community members to help us sow seeds for the wildflower meadow and grow with us as we shape these new opportunities and facilities together.”

The main community building – which will feature everything from an Olympic standard climbing centre and creative art studios to a nursery,  community café and much more – is on track to open in Spring 2022.

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