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School gardeners collect their prison-repaired tools at Charlton Park Garden Centre

Oxfordshire school and community gardeners picked up some special tools from Charlton Park Garden Centre, Wantage at the weekend. The tools, which had been repaired in prison workshops, are part of The Conservation Foundation’s Tools Shed project which recycled unwanted and broken tools in association with HM Prisons.

Local schools and community groups were invited to enter the draw to win tools in the first Oxfordshire giveaway and the sun shone when they arrived to collect them from Charlton Park’s Hazel Stevenson.

Charlton Park has a permanent Tools Shed collection point where broken and unwanted tools can be dropped off for recycling. Currently tools are repaired at prisons including Wandsworth, High Down and Dartmoor and it is hoped to start work soon with one in the Oxfordshire area

“It’s a win win situation,” said Hazel Stevenson. “Broken tools are recycled giving work and skills to prisoners and some very useful ‘new’ tools to school and community gardeners who are very glad to have them.”

David Shreeve, The Conservation Foundation’s Director, said, “Tools Shed is a simple idea which has received a great response from the public. The tool giveaways are always keenly anticipated and gardeners tell us how glad they are to be able to find good homes for their old tools.”

For further information about Tools Shed visit www.conservationfoundation.co.uk For further information about Charlton Park visit www.charltonpark.net