Friday, January 6, 2012 - 09:00

Budding gardeners, young and old, are being given the chance to win sets of special tools as part of the inspiring Tools Shed initiative.

Last spring, the Eden Project teamed up with HMP Dartmoor and The Conservation Foundation’s Tools Shed project to provide the first permanent garden tool recycling programme in Cornwall. 

Since then, 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. At the workshop, 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. 

To receive a free set of these special tools, or to nominate a deserving school or group, email or write to Karen Dawkins: / Eden Project, Bodelva, PL24 2SG, before Friday, January 27. 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 February 3 and invited to collect their tools from Eden between midday and 2pm on Friday, February 10.

Karen Dawkins, Foundation Programme Manager at Eden, said “We’ve been delighted with the amount of contributions we’ve received, both from visitors to Eden and among our own team members.

“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, said: “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.

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.

For further information on the project, visit