Friday, May 20, 2011 - 17:30

The Eden Project has teamed up with HMP Dartmoor and The Conservation Foundation’s Tools Shed project to provide the South West’s first permanent garden tool recycling programme.

Broken and unwanted tools can now be dropped at a special Tools Shed point near Eden’s Recycling Centre. They will then be taken to the workshops at Dartmoor Prison and, after being restored by the prisoners, will be given free to school and community gardens in the area.

David Shreeve, The Conservation Foundation’s Director, said: “We’re delighted to be able to link with the Eden Project and Dartmoor Prison to introduce Tools Shed to the westcountry.

“With more and more schools and community groups ‘growing their own’, there is a great demand for garden tools and rarely any budget. Tools Shed is a popular initiative that provides practical skills to prisoners, reduces waste and helps equip the next generation of gardeners.”

Howard Jones, Eden Project’s Director of Human Networks, said: “We were beneficiaries of this great scheme during the Chelsea Flower Show last year. We think it provides a great link between different and unlikely communities, it complements other work that we do and we are delighted to be involved.”

Steve Ball, HMP Dartmoor’s Industry and Environmental Manager, said: “HMP Dartmoor is proud to be involved with The Conservation Foundation and the Eden Project on the garden tool recycling programme.

“This very imaginative project will give offenders the opportunity to learn new skills which could benefit them upon release, it also fits in with our sustainable development agenda. Offenders will be making a very positive contribution to some very worthy causes within the community at the same time.”

Tools collected from Eden and repaired at Dartmoor Prison will be distributed at ‘Giveaway Days’ later in the year, to be organised by Richard Leatherby, Tools Shed’s South West England Co-ordinator.

This initiative builds on the Eden Project’s existing links with HMP Dartmoor, which began in spring 2006.

Tools Shed was piloted initially with HMP Wandsworth before being extended to other English prisons. Currently tools are being repaired at Morton Hall in Lincolnshire, Thorn Cross Young Offenders Institute near Warrington, Feltham Young Offenders’ Insitute in London and High Down Prison in Surrey.

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The Tools Shed collection point is situated at the Building Plot on the perimeter road opposite the Eden Project Waste Recycling Centre.