Shropshire Star

Bird boxes made by prison inmates go up in Shropshire town

Bird boxes made by inmates at Stoke Heath prison have been distributed around Market Drayton.


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The town's council recently introduced its biodiversity policy and struck up a partnership with HMP Stoke Heath, as inmates at the prison used their skills to produce a variety of bird, bug and bat boxes - all made from sustainable and recycled pallet wood.

Members of the town's council were delighted to complete phase one of their plan by placing some of the bird boxes in public places and parks during the last week of June, including in the town cemetery.

Bird boxes made by inmates at Stoke Heath Prison have been put up in a cemetery

Deputy Mayor, Tim Manton was extremely pleased.

He said: "It's absolutely fantastic to roll out the initiative in such a small amount of time from actually putting together the policy to speaking to Stoke Heath Prison, and then getting them into council and put up.

"I can't speak more highly about the whole thing. The inmates at Stoke Heath have done a fantastic job in making them, and they're better than anything that you would buy online or get from a shop, and, what's also fantastic is that they're made from old pallets.

"What we hope now, is that birds, bats, and bugs will make them their homes."

Deputy Town Mayor of Market Drayton, Councillor Tim Manton, distributing bird boxes

Phase two of the project has now begun as Market Drayton Town Council has rolled out the initiative to residents and schools in the area, and the bird boxes are now available to members of the public for free.

The town's council is asking people to get in touch with the town hall to register their interest, and the boxes will be distributed on a one-per-person basis.

The council is also hoping to continue its partnership with the prison in the future.

Matt Robinson from Stoke Heath prison with bird boxes

Assistant town clerk Kate Harvey said: "Working in collaboration with the prison is really ideal, and it's great that we can offer residents this facility.

"It's great for the environment and encourages residents to look for different insects and species in their gardens.

"We're hoping that we can use the prison's inmates and their skills again to help with things around the town."