A SENSORY trail has opened at a Wirral activity centre, creating an interactive experience and stimulating the senses of children with disabilities.

The Barnstondale Centre’s latest development was opened on Wednesday by its patron, the Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside Dame Lorna Muirhead,

The sensory trail – designed and built by centre manager George Jones – is the first stage in the ongoing development of outdoor activities at Barnstondale.

It was funded through generous donations from a number of organisations, including £3,500 from Wirral Lions Club, a £5,000 donation from Santander bank and grants from other trust funds.

“We deal with kids with disabilities at the centre and we have always pushed the boundaries to accommodate them more,” explained George.

“This was just another facility which we wanted to put in there for kids which are less able to engage with the climbing wall and other physical stuff so they can come and interact.”

George added: “It’s a trail so the whole idea was to create imagination so there is some really weird stuff in there – there are emus, fish tanks, totem poles, chairs carved out of wood.

“There is a lot of stimulation there particularly things children can interact with like musical instruments, mirrors, texture boards, wobbly boards, plants which they can touch and smell.

“Able bodied children and kids in wheelchairs can all take part. They are learning and getting more confident without actually realising what they are doing.”

The trail features sheltered decking, a stone path, a water feature and huge planters filled with perennial foliage plants, which have been chosen specifically for their aromas and texture.

Business director Heidi Hughes added: “This trail will benefit all our young visitors especially those with additional needs.

“It has many exciting aspects and is an interactive experience which will stimulate their senses, encourage conversation and open their minds to new possibilities.

“For those children with additional needs, there will be new experiences and challenges which they can undertake with their carers.”