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This summer, a group of UK gardens will encourage us to switch off our phones and stop talking. From Sunday, 5 June they are taking part in the pilot study Silent Space. Initiated by Oxfordshire based garden writer, Liz Ware, the project invites a variety of gardens to reserve an area where, for a few hours, visitors have the opportunity to wander, sit, or reflect, without being disturbed by the human voice.
‘Our lives are very hectic and we rarely allow ourselves time to just be quiet’ says Liz Ware. ‘Even the gardens we love to visit for relaxation are busy at weekends. It’s all too easy to miss out on the restorative benefits of being peaceful in a green place. Encouraging gardens that open to the public to create areas for silence at weekends seems an obvious solution.’
Liz first took the idea to Oxfordshire’s NT Greys Court and Waterperry Gardens. Both were enthusiastic and keen to be involved. It was with their help that the pilot study began to take shape.
‘Silent Space is a very simple idea that is easy to set up and run. I hope that positive feedback from the pilot study will persuade other UK gardens to get involved in 2017. It would be wonderful if in years to come, green Silent Spaces became part of everyday life – somewhere easily accessible for people to be quiet, whenever they felt the need.’ – Liz Ware
‘We think this is a wonderful idea and perfectly in keeping with Lady Brunner’s intentions for the garden at Greys Court’ – Adam Ford (Head Gardener, NT Greys Court).
‘I’m very happy to be involved in Silent Space as the project reflects the atmosphere of these special gardens. Their beauty, peace and calm are some of the qualities most loved by our visitors’. – Pat Havers (Head Gardener, Waterperry Gardens)
‘The Quiet Garden Movement is delighted to see the Silent Space pilot study taking place this summer in gardens that open to the public – providing people with the gift of being silent for part of their day,’ said Matt Freer (Projects Manager of the Quiet Garden Movement). ‘ Time outdoors in silence and contemplation can be such a restorative experience to both mind and body – and we hope visitors to these gardens will want to repeat the experience.’
Details of participating gardens can be found at: http://www.lghn.org.uk/latest-news–updates/silent-space