Prisoners transform disused ground next to Royal Hampshire

Published: 11-May-2011

Inmates from Winchester Prison have helped Winchester's hospital turn a patch of disused ground into a beautiful garden. The transformation is the latest success in a partnership between the prison and the Royal Hampshire County Hospital. The work started last summer when the site was just a disused courtyard with some overgrown beds. It is now a pleasant and tranquil space for staff, patients and visitors to spend time. Designed with low maintenance in mind, the garden's colours, smells and planting schemes have been carefully chosen to provide sensory stimulus. As well as help with the gardening, prisoners also made picnic tables and designed artwork to explain what the garden is all about. Michael Leggatt, Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare NHS Trust's general manager for facilities and estates services, said: "When we learnt how successful the prison had been in gardening competitions, we thought it would be great if they could lend us a hand. Our estates team prioritise keeping the site tidy and regularly score top marks in inspections. However, there just isn't the time for the niceties such as flower beds and planting borders."

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