EVEN the mayor has to take some time to stop and smell the flowers.

Didcot mayor Peter Reade was officially opening a new community garden as part of the Restore autumn fair, which also featured live bands, stalls, workshops and a bouncy castle.

The Didcot garden, funded by Lottery grant-giver Ecominds, has been built over the last two years by people with mental health issues. It contains a pergola, a pond and a sensory garden and was designed for people with disabilities.

Mr Read said: “They have done a tremendous job, and that is attracting funds from other charities into Didcot.

“The garden is a very pleasant space with lots of wild flowers which attract insects and make it very tranquil. I made a bee line for the bench under the willow trees.”

Manager Olivier Guillot said: “We are very happy to share this beautiful, peaceful garden with the local community. It aims to educate children about the environment and provide a space for everyone to relax and enjoy.”

Restore is an Oxfordshire-based charity that helps people with mental health problems, using gardening and other activities to help build self-esteem.