- Nutritional Skills
- Food Production
- Reuse & Recycle
Warren Hill is a Category C or “low security” prison near HMP Hollesley Bay on the Suffolk coastline. We worked with the Therapeutic Community at HMP Warren Hill to help turbo charge their therapeutic gardening programme. The unit had a small garden, well established in some areas with a green house and compost bay in one area and a new food growing area in another, but it had a very small amount of the tools and materials they needed.
The main objective here was to further enrich the gardens with our additional courses and bring in recycled or donated materials that would further add to their resources. We were also tasked with drawing more people outside into the gardens to get them involved in the enrichment processes we helped establish and extend.
A classic example of the impact our work had on this unit was the big compost area. Compost bays are always an integral aspect of what we help to establish on all of our projects, as it hugely increases the sustainability by transforming green waste (weeds etc) into next year’s earth-enriching compost. This is particularly important in prison gardens as they often have no budget for compost to be brought in, so the nutrient levels of the soil become poor and the plants suffer in the process. Growing food in these gardens can be particularly high in nutrient demands, which makes mindful planting (companion planting, crop rotation & planting nitrogen fixing plants/green compost plants) all the more important to enable the edible plants to be healthy & full of nutrition.
As the diet of the inmates is also very low in variety and fresh nutritious food, our food growing programmes and getting people outside in the fresh air (increasing the Vitamin D levels) are even more important.
We were also commissioned to start helping to transform HMP Warren Hill’s external grounds, as they were soon to progress to a different type of prison with more family visits becoming a key part of their “Progressive Environment”. As such we decided to help create a more inviting approach to the prison by establishing a heritage orchard with live willow fencing on to add green architecture and natural boundary areas.
This worked beautifully & was much appreciated by prison staff. We just hope they kept watering the trees & willow once we left!
See how you can help this and our other projects here.