Gardening brings skills to prisoners

A horticultural scheme at Dartmoor prison has helped inmates to foster new skills, it has been asserted.

Writing on the online pages of the Guardian, sector commentator Veronique Mistiaen explains that a group of prisoners in Dartmoors resettlement unit have turned four "grim-looking" exercise yards into flourishing vegetable plots.

"The turnips, carrots, beetroots, peppers and beans bring an incongruous splash of colour inside the cold granite walls," she notes.

Simon Clark, who oversaw the sowing and planting of a number of the seeds, tells the publication that there are so many things that one cannot do in prison and that it is "great" to be able to come and grow plants from scratch.

"We have cucumbers and tomatoes and […] peppers. Weve built plastic miniature greenhouses for them," he adds.

In related news, the BBC recently reported that a garden at Whitchester Duns, in the Scottish borders, is used to rehabilitate young men with a range of disorders and – in many cases – provide them with a gardening qualification.