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Future Plans: Rehabilitation In Dartmoor Prison

The Eden Project (S.Kneebone)

The Eden Project (Credit Sarah Kneebone)

The Eden Project, Cornwall, UK, is working with the organisation “Business in the Community” to support prisoners in the Resettlement Unit at Dartmoor Prison. They plan to convert three areas that are currently plain paved exercise yards into productive gardens, and to develop a circulation space into a healing and herb garden. The staff at the Eden Project have used their expertise to design a planting scheme that will produce a long succession of fresh vegetables for the local community’s food box scheme, and fresh vegetables for the prisoners.

The project is also designed to benefit the psychological well-being of the prisoners, and the sensory garden in particular is intended to have a calm and therapeutic effect. For example, it will be planted to attract birds, to increase contact with nature. This garden is overlooked by a block housing the most violent prisoners and it is hoped that the scheme will significantly benefit them. The construction and maintenance of these gardens will be done by prisoners, who will learn useful skills. This project is planned to start in mid 2006, subject to funding.

Source: S.Minter (survey response)