Tuesday 21 August 2018
• Prison scoops the Royal Horticultural Society’s Windlesham Trophy for best kept garden
• Garden oasis within the walls benefits prisoners, staff and the community
• Fresh and healthy produce grown for the prison kitchen and city food bank scheme
HMP Hull in East Yorkshire has been judged the best kept prison garden in England and Wales by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and awarded the Windlesham Trophy for the first time today for its efforts.
Named after its creator, Lord Windlesham, the annual award seeks to recognise the value of gardening within prison communities with18 prisons entering the competition this year.
Housing over 1,000 men, HMP Hull uses its gardens for prisoner rehabilitation and training – many have achieved formal qualifications - and in support of the local community. Every week, fresh produce is harvested for the prison kitchen with the surplus, enough for 50 people, donated to a local food bank. Crops such as lettuce, onions and beetroot help in supplementing diets in an area with high levels of obesity and diabetes. Bird boxes made by prisoners were also recently distributed to nearby schools.
The garden, which is tended to by a 20-strong team of prisoners, also includes wildflower areas, bug hotels and bat boxes to attract wildlife, a memorial garden for staff, and a colourful display of 10,000 bedding plants including African marigolds to welcome visitors.
An RHS judging panel, led by Robert Haslam with Fiona Crumley and Jon Wheatley assessed HMP Hull in July, along with the three other finalists; HMP Dartmoor in Devon, HMP Preston and HMP Wymott, both in Lancashire.
RHS judge Robert Haslam said: “Congratulations to Hull on an outstanding performance. Their attention to detail was instantly obvious with consistently high horticultural standards met across all areas of the garden. The wonderful team spirit displayed from management through to the prisoners was incredible.”
Governor of HMP Hull, Rick Stuart said: “The fantastic oasis that the team have created demonstrates what can be achieved if people want to make it happen. It goes a long way to giving prisoners a sense of community and normality and provides staff with a far better working environment. I am extremely proud of them and what they have achieved, and for making our workplace that little bit nicer for all of us who work and live here.”
HMP Hull was presented with the Windlesham Trophy, an engraved Green Goddess fire engine bell, during a ceremony at the prison on 15 August.
Notes to editors
For more information and images, please contact Claire Weaver in the RHS Press Office on 020 7821 3688 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Windlesham Trophy
The Windlesham Trophy competition celebrates the best kept prison garden in England and Wales.
First held in 1984 it was devised by Lord Windlesham, then Chairman of the Parole Board, with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and Home Office as a way of recognising the positive impact of gardening on prisoners. More than 100 prisons have competed in the competition over the years.
The trophy itself is a highly polished brass bell from an old ‘Green Goddess’ fire engine mounted on an oak plinth. It was presented by Lord Windlesham until 2001 when the RHS began presenting the award.
About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society, the world’s leading gardening charity, was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood. Our vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. This aspiration underpins all that we do, from inspirational gardens and shows, through our scientific research, to our education and community programmes such as Campaign for School Gardening and Britain in Bloom. We produce key publications, hold a world-class collection of horticultural books and botanical art, and sell the very best plants and gardening gifts.
We are currently investing over £160 million into the future of horticulture, which includes redeveloping our flagship RHS Garden Wisley and opening a new garden, RHS Garden Bridgewater, in 2020. We are solely funded by our members, visitors and supporters. For more information visit www.rhs.org.uk.
RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262