A major project to redevelop the external sensory area at Norton-based autism charity Daisy Chain is underway.

£146,000 is being spent on creating a facility whose overall design concept resembles a pocket watch. This is to recognise that people with autism often have a love of numbers, list making and patterns.

It is divided into various sectors, all with a specific purpose, these include:

 a sand and water play area

 themed play featuring a futuristic Nautilus vessel

 a make, build and grow area

 a rough play area featuring an embankment slide, a pod swing and a trampoline.

Designed by Proludic, a Nottingham firm with many years experience in specialist play areas, construction work is already underway and should be completed next month. The aim is to provide an opportunity to experience a genuine sense of adventure within a safe environment through the use of soft man-made surfaces and natural landscaping in structured gated and fenced areas.

“It’s hard to describe just how grateful our families are to these local supporters,” said Judith Haysmore, Daisy Chain chief executive. “Having this facility will increase opportunities for contact with the outdoor environment for our young people to aid their development. It will be an amazingly popular attraction which is educational as well as fun.”