New Parkinson’s Garden unveiled at Beech Hurst

PR2232/JB/RA - 12/07/2019

Members of Parkinson’s UK joined representatives from their local group and Councillors on 5th of July to celebrate the opening of the Parkinson’s Community Garden at Beech Hurst in Haywards Heath.

In November 2018 members of Parkinson’s UK Mid Sussex branch approached Mid Sussex District Council to discuss the possibility of creating a garden area for members. The Council’s Landscapes team then worked with them to re-design the old Petanque area adjacent to the car park at Beech Hurst, providing an accessible but peaceful spot.

Parkinson’s is a disease of the brain which progresses over time. It is anticipated that around one adult in every 350 will develop the condition. Symptoms include shaking, slowness of movement and muscle stiffness, which makes day to day tasks difficult.

“Carefully considering the needs of those who will use the garden was key to the success of this project,” said Councillor John Belsey, Cabinet Member for Environment and Service Delivery. “We worked alongside Parkinson’s UK to create a practical and attractive space consisting of wide paths and three flower raised beds at a variety of levels to accommodate wheelchair users and less able people.”

The local Parkinson’s Group will maintain the area which includes a range of sensory and culinary plants to provide a stimulating environment.

Dr Tej Richardson, Mid Sussex Branch President said, “This garden is an amazing achievement for our local group. It's beautiful yet practical and is good for all ages. I can see myself bringing my three year old daughter here with her scooter while I relax and enjoy the view! As we all know, staying active is very important for those with Parkinson’s, both physically and mentally; gardening is an activity that combines both and allows you to enjoy our beautiful surroundings at the same time. This is an astonishing achievement and one that will not only benefit our group, but also others in our local community.”