HMP YOI Parc crop growing

Welsh prison garden wins RHS award

HMP & YOI Parc was awarded the trophy for best kept prison garden

A Welsh prison has won a Royal Horticultural Society gardening award for the best kept prison garden in England and Wales.

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HMP & YOI Parc won the RHS Windlesham Trophy for its grounds, which are used to grow food for the prison garden.

The modern category B prison houses 1,700 men and young offenders and won the trophy for the second time, having previously taken home the prize in 2017. This year, the prison fought off competition from 19 other institutions.

Fifteen prisoners work on the garden, in which they learn horticultural skills and grow crops such as potatoes, cabbage and tomatoes, all of which are served in the prison canteen. The space has wildflower borders, a pond and bird boxes to promote wildlife and there is a bee colony.

The G4S-run prison is a privately managed prison in Wales and was up against other finalists which included HMP Hull, HMP Littehey in Cambridgeshire, HMP Warren Hill in Suffolk and HMP Whatton in Nottingham.

HMP YOI Parc crop growing
© RHS/ Sioned Birchall

RHS judges assess the gardens for their horticultural displays, environmental efforts and impact on those living and working within the walls.

Judge Jon Wheatley said: “The quality of horticulture in prisons is ever improving and much of what we’ve seen this year is of RHS gold medal standard. However, what the team has achieved at HMP & YOI Parc is truly outstanding with far reaching benefits across the whole prison community, from superb training and learning opportunities to food production and improved health and wellbeing. This is Lord Windlesham’s vision of prison gardening at its very best.”

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Staff and prisoners at HMP & YOI Parc will today be presented with the Windlesham Trophy by RHS President Sir Nicholas Bacon at an awards ceremony at the prison.