Sidcup school children enjoying sensory garden thanks to Rotary Club

PUBLISHED: 09:21 14 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:21 14 May 2018

The totem pole is unveiled at Marlborough School. Photo: Derek Hope -- Kent Photonews

The totem pole is unveiled at Marlborough School. Photo: Derek Hope -- Kent Photonews


Children with special needs get a taste of paradise every day since a tropical sensory garden was installed by the Rotary Club of Sidcup.

Chainsaw Dave in action. Photo: Derek Hope -- Kent PhotonewsChainsaw Dave in action. Photo: Derek Hope -- Kent Photonews

Gardening specialists worked for three years to complete it, to provide colour, smell, sound and touch for the children at Marlborough School in Marlborough Park Avenue, Sidcup.

The scheme was led by Rotarians from the Vocational and Youth Opportunities Committee.

The entire project was planned to be completed in three stages.

The first was the clearing of the garden in the quadrangle.

The owl on top of the totem pole.  Photo: Derek Hope -- Kent PhotonewsThe owl on top of the totem pole. Photo: Derek Hope -- Kent Photonews

Then, the installation of a sound system to help with lessons outdoors and allowing pupils to enjoy music and the sounds of bird song, tropical forest noises and crashing waves.

The final stage on Thursday, May 10 was a carved western red cedar totem pole presented to the school by the club.

The 12ft tree was provided by the Forestry Commission who sourced it from nearby Bedgebury National Pinetum.

It was then carved by David Lucas, known as Chainsaw Dave.

He is a chainsaw artist from East Sussex, whose work can be seen in many public places, National Trust properties, Kew Gardens, parks and wildlife centres.

The students were involved too, and could choose what they wanted Dave to carve into the trunk.

All the ideas were put into the melting pot to be discussed by Dave, headteacher Linda Lee and members of Rotary.

That done, a final design was drawn up which included a wise old owl at the top of the pole symbolising the headteacher, with a variety of smaller animals chosen by the children plus vines and leaves on the main trunk.

The final finishing touch is a wood dye to both enhance the colour and preserve the wood for as long as possible.

Rotary president Peter Wilkes said: “The sensory garden looks lovely and we hope that the finished project will give years of pleasure for the children at the school.”

And head Linda Lee added: “The beautiful carved totem pole is the centre piece of an oasis of calm in the lovely sensory garden they created.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Bexley Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Bexley Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Bexley Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Bexley news

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Controversial plans to open an African restaurant for 18 hours a day next to retirement homes have been refused by councillors.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our Met Office video forecast.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Jamie Brown of Archant Local Impact explains how you can build brand awareness.

Friday, October 19, 2018

A Welling church was delighted to present representatives from the emergency services with cheques totalling an amazing £6,054 after its annual teddy bear charity appeal.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Following the incredible sell-out stage success of Not Dead Enough, The Perfect Murder and Dead Simple, the number one best-selling author Peter James is back with a spine-tingling new world premiere play, The House On Cold Hill, coming to the Orchard Theatre in January.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

A police officer based in Bexley has been served a final warning after he allegedly placed a man in a choke hold during a fight.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Bexley’s NHS services will receive more than £900,000 of extra funding this winter to help alleviate growing pressures on our hospitals, the Department for Health announced yesterday (Wednesday, October 17).

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

People who live, work and travel across Kent, Thurrock, Essex and beyond are being invited to shape plans for Britain’s biggest road tunnel as Highways England hostrf the first of 60 public engagement events on the multi-billion pound Lower Thames Crossing project this week (Tuesday 16 October).

Most read news

Digital Edition

Read the Bexley Times e-edition today

Newsletter Sign Up

Bexley Times twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists

Family Notices 24