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HM Prison Whatton wins best prison garden

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The Windlesham Trophy 2012 announced

28 September 2012

HM Prison Whatton in Nottinghamshire have been announced as winner of the national award for the best kept prison garden in England and Wales for 2012.

Out of 25 prisons that were judged in the second round of the competition, HM Prison Whatton was selected in a shortlist of four and then went on to win the final.

The prison last won the competition in 2000 but since then there have been substantial additions to the grounds. The RHS panel of judges, headed by Michael Hickson, were impressed by progression and improvements made in the original garden. The prisoners were praised for introducing a different style of horticulture to the newly acquired space. This included naturalised areas with local wildflower species.

All winners of national competition are award The Windlesham Trophy, which is a redundant ‘Green Goddess’ Fire Engine bell. It is named after the former Chairman of the Parole Board, Lord Windlesham who set up the competition in 1983. It is aimed at developing prisoners’ sense of worth and to encourage gardening excellence among the prison community.

Last year's winner was HMP Young Offender Institution Thorn Cross. 'Winning Windlesham is a real achievement both for staff and prisoners, the gardens are a delight to walk around and have improved the life of the whole prison creating a more positive environment'; says John Platt, Head of Learning & Skills Thorn Cross.

The trophy is awarded in conjunction with the RHS, which provides the finalists judging panel. Each year the award ceremony is held at the winning prison and the trophy is presented by the RHS President.

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The RHS offers a number of bursaries each year to assist horticulturists in financing specific projects, including overseas travel.

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