A man has revealed his plans to create a new sensory garden on an area of waste land.
Vince White hopes to transform the discontinued spot between the Knowle West Healthy Living Center and William Budd Health Center at Knowle West Health Park in Downton Road.
He wants the new green space to be “a place of relaxation”, with wind chimes and herbs that people can smell or taste.
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“It will be good to have a sensory garden there for the health and well-being of the people of Knowle West, south Bristol and beyond,” said Vince, who is a volunteer walk leader and member of the Man Alive group at the Health Park.
“The park itself could do with more money being thrown at it and different things to enhance it, because it could be the central hub for south Bristol,” he added.
As well as the Healthy Living Center and Health Centre, the Health Park also has a dialysis unit and a large area of green space.
Vince envisions the new sensory garden will have benches, an avenue of trees, water features, raised beds for disabled people and a polytunnel.
The 57-year-old also hopes it will have a portacabin, which will serve teas and coffees.
His next step is to get permission from Bristol City Council for use of the land, so he can then fundraise for the project.
In 2021, the council proposed building 50 homes on the Health Park, before dropping the plans in February 2022.
Vince, who lives in Bedminster but is originally from Knowle West, says the council should “keep their hands off” the park.
“We haven’t got many green spaces in Knowle West left that are not being developed,” he said.
“I’m not against development but the Health Park should be left for the people of south Bristol to come and enjoy.”
There is also an old caretaker’s house at the Health Park, which Vince imagines could become a holistic treatment centre.
Heather Williams, CEO of the Knowle West Health Park Company, which manages the site, says they “champion any community-led action that will enhance it”.
“We are supporting Vince to begin to realize his great vision for a sensory garden and have been busy connecting him with other partners including Bristol City Council and Knowle West Alliance,” she said.
Another new community garden opened in Knowle West earlier in 2022, while a community allotment was saved from closure.
Charlie Watts is reporting on Knowle West as part of Bristol24/7’s community reporter scheme, a project which aims to tell stories from areas of Bristol traditionally under-served by the mainstream media
Main photo and video: Charlie Watts
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