‘Widow’s Row’ Garden opens

Shane & Celia O'Neill with The Mayor, Councillor Paul Hamill, Councillor Linda Clarke and members of Tidy Randalstown at the official opening of The Widows' Row
Shane & Celia O'Neill with The Mayor, Councillor Paul Hamill, Councillor Linda Clarke and members of Tidy Randalstown at the official opening of The Widows' Row

A sensory ‘secret’ garden is among the features of a new comunity facility now open for use in Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough.

The Council and Tidy Randalstown are delighted that The Widows’ Row Garden has been officially opened by Shane O’Neill and is now available for all to use.

The Widows’ Row Garden features a stone built wall which complements the existing walls of the Old Congregational Church and the Memorial Garden.

The area boasts a significant number of mature trees with newly planted trees including oak and sorbus. There are also plenty of small shrubs bordered by areas for future wild flower planting to help encourage the biodiversity of the area. There are also bird boxes, an insect hotel and interpretive panels to help everyone learn about their environment.

A beautiful addition to the site is a sensory garden, designed especially for the use of children with special needs. The Georgina O’Neill Secret Garden features a viewing gallery to the Burn, a seat with a beautiful view through the trees to the Old Congregational Church and ‘A Quiet Corner’. Visitors to this part of the garden are encouraged to look, listen, touch and smell. There is also an interpretive board especially for children to learn about the area and they are encouraged to keep their eyes peeled for lots of wildlife, including grey squirrels.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Paul Hamill, said: “I am delighted to see the completion of the new garden and I know the residents are eagerly waiting for the better weather so they can enjoy the garden fully. I must commend the work of the volunteers who tirelessly invested their time to help make the Widows’ Row project the success it is.”

The success of the project is a result of the close working relationship between Tidy Randalstown and the Council. The project was funded by the Council’s District Electoral Area budget with financial aid also received from The Big Lottery, Enkalon Foundation and Hutchinson Homes.