Budding gardeners, young and old, are being given the chance to win sets of special tools. The trowels, forks, hoes and more have been recycled through Eden’s Tool Shed initiative, which gives inmates at prisons around the country the opportunity to learn new skills.
The project has been running since last spring, when we teamed up with HMP Dartmoor and The Conservation Foundation’s Tools Shed project to provide the first permanent garden tool recycling programme in Cornwall.
Old, broken and unwanted tools have been dropped off at the collection point at Eden and then transferred to HMP Dartmoor’s dedicated Tools Shed workshop, where prisoners have been able to learn a variety of new skills while refurbishing the donated items. As a result, they now have 20 sets of reconditioned tools, which will be given away to schools and community gardening groups in Cornwall.
Eden’s Karen Dawkins says: ‘We’ve had some rather weird and wonderful donations; some were so rusty they seemed beyond repair, but the men at HMP Dartmoor have worked hard to refurbish as many tools as possible to ensure the success of this great project.’
David Shreeve, creator of the Conservation Foundation, explains: ‘The project was designed to bring a new and positive approach to recycling. It’s a simple idea, but it has received a fantastic response from the public and has really involved prisoners and prison staff as well as making a difference to many schools and community groups.’
Tools Shed was piloted initially with HMP Wandsworth before being extended to other prisons. Currently tools are being repaired at Morton Hall in Lincolnshire, Bullingdon in Oxfordshire,Thorn Cross Young People’s Institution near Warrington, Feltham Young People’s Institution in London and High Down Prison in Surrey.
How to apply for free gardening tools
To receive a free set of these special tools, or to nominate a deserving school or group, email or write to Karen Dawkins: firstname.lastname@example.org / Eden Project, Bodelva, Cornwall, PL24 2SG, before Friday 27 January 2012. Please include the name, address, and contact details of the organisation that would receive the tools and a short paragraph on where and how the tools would be used.
The first 20 winners to be selected will be notified by 3 February and invited to collect their tools from Eden between midday and 2pm on Friday 10 February.
How to recycle your old gardening tools
To donate any old, broken or unwanted garden hand tools, drop them off at the Tools Shed collection point, which is situated at the Tyre Shelter on the perimeter road opposite the Eden Project Waste Recycling Centre.