Here is Peter Smith’s update on progress with a dementia friendly garden:

“I approached Leeds Parks and Countryside two years ago,and a lot of research has gone into the idea of a dementia friendly garden,with the involvement of Stirling University, Dementia Studies Department.

A lot of thought has gone into it being a pleasant and safe outdoor space,with a free flowing loop around the garden. It is large enough to be of interest and move around,but small enough to feel safe.

There will be wide flat path,with no steps or trip hazards,plenty of seating with arm and back rests,plus single seats for those who may prefer this option.It is intended to have attractive planting to stimulate interest,with smells and warm colours, and bamboos and grasses that rustle in the breeze.

The benefits of access to outdoors are well known to improve physical and mental health,as well as exercise reducing symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression.

We believe the garden to be the first dementia friendly garden in a public park,and the cost for this one will be £30,000. As with many projects funding is a major issue,and the garden is no exception,obviously any sponsors will receive the the publicity deserved.

The knock on effect will be that Parks and Countryside will then offer,where ever there is a public park in Leeds,an area to any group or organisation,which can be designated as a dementia friendly garden.