Prisoners repair tools to help conservation work at Brockholes

Alice Singleton

Inmates at a Lancashire prison are lending a hand when it comes to protecting the Lancashire environment.

Convicts at Garth Prison are taking part in the Tools Shed project, The Conservation Foundation’s recycling project.

The Ulnes Walton prison’s role in the project is seeing inmates repair broken and unwanted garden hand-tools before giving them to schoolchildren taking part in environmental activities at Brockholes Nature Reserve neighbouring the M6 motorway at Preston.

Brockholes volunteer Hugh Sloan said: “Tools Shed started as a pilot at HMP Wandsworth in 2006 and it was a great success, it’s now running in seven prisons across the UK, thanks to funding from the Big Lottery.

Rob with tools

Alice Singleton

“Staff and the prisoners at Garth are keen on this project. We will ask for broken tools to be handed in to various locations.

“The prisoners will repair them and then, I know, the education team will be able to use them

“It is a really good way to provide good quality second hand tools.”

Due to the projects success the nature reserve is now asking for members of the public to donate old and broken tools to continue the work that is taking place.

“We currently have a cage in the compound at Brockholes ready to collect tools and the response from volunteers has been excellent,” said Hugh.

“Anyone else can bring tools that are broken or they don’t need.

“And prisoners have already fixed the tools we have supplied so far.

“This will help to teach prisoners practical skills that can be used after they have been released.

“And the tools will be used to teach children restoration skills, possibly providing training for a future career.”