GALLERY: Norwich youngsters experience nature in the heart of the city

Youngsters can experience the wonders of nature in the heart of Norwich thanks to a new sensory garden.

The area at Chapelfield Childrens's Day Nursery provides more than 80 children with the chance to learn about natural habitats by feeding birds and growing their own vegetables.

Designed by Tom Carrington, the garden features a woodland path, plants which stimulate the senses, and musical features so the children can experiment with sound.

The facilities are brought to life by a jungle back drop, which was created by the scenery designer of the Norwich Theatre Royal, Richard Matthews.

Dozens of parents and children tried out the area yesterday when they joined the official opening.

They also took part in an Easter egg hunt and a magic show with Magical Edd.

The manager of the nursery, in Chapelfield Gardens, believes the area will help childrens' development in the future.

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Emmy Wilcox, 26, who manages the nursery which looks after children aged from three months to four years, said: 'The garden provides an area for the children to develop and explore the natural environment around them.

'This area really needed refurbishment and the parents got together to help fundraise for this project.

'I really want to thank them for all their hard work.'

Fundraising for the garden project was led by the parents' group, Friends of Chapelfield Children's Day Nursery.

Together, they managed to secure a �5,000 Early Years Quality Grant from Norfolk County Council, which helped fund the project.

Mum of two Becky Squires currently takes her son to the nursery.

She said: 'The garden is completely different to how it was a year ago. It now gives the children an introduction to how things grow.'

'They can really engage with nature, from running over the bridge to playing hide and seek among the plants.'

Meanwhile, Dad Neil Tweddle, feels the garden provides children with a safe place to learn about nature.

Are you opening a new facility for children? Contact reporter Ben Woods on 01603 772 439 or email

Click on the link in the top right hand corner of the page to see a picture gallery of the garden.