A NATIONAL Trust park has received an accolade at an awards ceremony recognising heritage visitor attractions.
The award for Best Educational Initiative was given to Croome Court, near Pershore, for the Potter and Ponder sensory experience announced by comedian Ian Moore.
They received the award at the annual Museums and Heritage Awards.
Croome's general manager, Michael Forster- Smith said: "It was wonderful for Croome’s Potter and Ponder initiative to receive national recognition for its innovative approach to education.
"The team responsible, led by Katherine Alker and Rachel Sharpe, worked alongside local schools and families to create a trail designed to share our park with children with a broad range of special needs.
"The outcome was an enriching and fun trail, focussing on a sensory approach to enjoying Croome’s landscape, available to all our visitors.
"The development of Potter and Ponder was supported by Jo Amphlett and Kiki Claxton from our team at Croome, along with a variety of other partners, including the Heritage Lottery Fund and Outside In, our creative partners. "Well done to all involved in making Potter and Ponder such a success, the Museums and Heritage award is richly deserved."
Four local groups with wide ranging special needs and learning disabilities collaborated with the National Trust to create the Potter and Ponder map.
During their visits to Croome it became apparent that the children loved making echoes under the Dry Arch Bridge, feeling the leaves and bark on different trees, smelling the variety of flowers, and walking barefoot on the grass.
These sensory experiences were used in the final map which takes visitors on a journey of different sensations such as sound, touch and smell.
In addition to Croome’s award was a one-off ‘Special Recognition Award’ for the National Trust.
Nominated by the judges, the National Trust was rewarded for its creativity in visitor engagement, growth in visitor figures and its impressive of creative partnerships.
The free ‘Potter and Ponder’ map is available from Croome’s Visitor Centre.
For more information call: 01905 371006 or visit nationaltrust.org.uk/croome