A-maze-ing new feature at Brockholes

A labyrinth is set to be completed at Brockholes Nature Reserve in time for its fifth anniversary later this month.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 4th April 2016, 9:15 am
Updated Monday, 4th April 2016, 12:01 pm

The stone and hard-standing construction - the first in the country to be wheelchair accessible - was the idea of Anne Selby, chief executive of the Wildlife Trust and John Lamb, a senior conservation officer.

They were inspired to create the area after attending a course by the British Society of Dowsers held at Brockholes in November 2011.

In five sessions so far, a team of 30 volunteers has helped to construct the labyrinth, with materials donated from local companies.

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John said the idea was for the space to be multifunctional for different groups of visitors.

He said: “It can be used for contemplation and reflection, as well as meditation and yoga.

“It can also be used as a setting for taking photographs, including brides and grooms who get married at Brockholes. It could also be used for storytelling.

“We are also planning on incorporating some boulders around the edges, which were left behind when the last ice age ended some 10,000 years ago, so the labyrinth will also have an educational function.

“Children will love running or walking into the centre of the labyrinth and coming out again, possibly timing how long it take them.

“We will be planting some herbs and wildflowers around the edges, in corners and around the circle in the centre of the labyrinth so it will also be attract pollinators and other wildlife.

“It will benefit Brockholes by being yet another attraction that people can visit when they come to Brockholes at different times of the year.”

The pathways leading up to and forming the labyrinth are wide enough for wheelchairs and because they are made of hardcore, will be accessible all year round unlike labyrinths made of soil or grass, which can become too wet.

A labyrinth is a single path or unicursal tool “for personal, psychological and spiritual transformation”, according to the Labyrinth Society.

In a classical seven circuit labyrinth, a person would enter through the ‘mouth’ and then walk on the paths or circuits.

The walls keep the person on the path and the goal is in the centre of the labyrinth. When a person reaches it, they have gone half the distance – they then need to turn around and walk back out.

A left- or right-handed labyrinth is determined by the direction of the first turn after entering the labyrinth.

Two thirds of classical labyrinths are right-handed.