A NEW landscaped garden in Andover was completed with a celebration including a Druid dedication ceremony, storytelling and wildflower planting.

The Dragon Garden in Harmony Woods is made of mounds of soil shaped into an abstract representation of a dragon, designed by Andover Trees United trustee and renowned landscape designer Daniel Lobb, in memory of friend and organisation supporter Dr Sandy Burnfield, who died in 2021.

The garden was created by volunteers in July and August, with the celebration taking place on Saturday, October 14.

The Dragon Garden is open for the use of volunteers and available for hire by private groups and organisations.

More than 60 people attended the event, including Sandy’s family and friends, volunteers, the Andover Trees United team, and Dr Burnfield's Druid Grove (the term for an organised group of Druids), of which Daniel is also a member.

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During the event attendees were led to the Dragon Garden, with instructions to pick up a small piece of stone on the way. The Druids held a special dedication ritual, with attendees standing along the mounds to observe and participate.

Druids can be of any faith or belief system, or none, united by a deep reverence for the Earth.

The Grove included dragon symbolism in their ritual and calling for protection and blessings upon the garden, the attendees and the community.

Musician Nick Barwick played the saxophone while participants formed a line to place their stones in a bucket, which were used to form the eye of the dragon.

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Lunch and storytelling were held after the ceremony.

The story of the Wherwell Cockatrice was performed by Amanda Kane-Smith, author of the book Test Valley Tales, in which it is included.

A cockatrice is a creature with the body of a dragon and the head of a rooster. According to an old legend, the cockatrice terrorised Wherwell until it was imprisoned in the cellar below Wherwell Priory. Four acres of land were offered to anyone who could kill the creature.

None were successful until a man named Green lowered a mirror into the dungeon. The cockatrice battled against its own reflection until exhausted, at which point Green was able to kill it.

There is an area of land near Wherwell called Green's Acres, reputedly the land given to Green.

During the Andover Trees United ceremony, wildflower seeds were spread on the Dragon Garden mounds to complete the garden.

Dr Burnfield's family also planted a walnut tree in the garden as another memorial.

Dr Burnfield was a consultant psychiatrist who worked with young people with mental health issues and their families. He was diagnosed with a form of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in his early 20s and helped to set up both the Andover and Winchester MS Groups.

He became a Druid in the last years of his life, being fascinated by stories of dragons.