Evaluation of the Master Gardener programme at Rye Hill prison: A horticultural intervention with substance misusing offenders


The Master Gardener Programme at HMP Rye Hill is funded by Public Health Northamptonshire and forms a partnership between Garden Organic, G4S, and the Substance Misuse team at HMP Rye Hill.

The aim of the study was to evaluate the programme as an intervention for substance misuse offenders, by exploring prisoners’ personal experiences of engaging in the horticultural intervention and understanding the processes by which the intervention is provided.

The study aimed to identify the potential benefits and challenges associated with a horticultural intervention in a prison setting and considered the support needs going forward for the future provision of horticultural interventions within a prison setting and post release.


The evaluation of the Master Gardener (MG) Programme at HMP Rye Hill builds on the national evaluation of MG programme carried out by Kneafsey and Bos (2014). 

This study was undertaken over a 12 month period and utilised a range of methods which included; interviews, focus groups, reflective diaries, survey and analysis of data routinely collected as part of the prison regime. 

The findings have contributed to the development of the MG programme at HMP Rye Hill and research evidence that identifies a range of positive outcomes for offenders participating in the evaluation. 

The study contributes evidence that supports HMP Rye Hill strategic direction to establish a recovery unit.  Key findings demonstrate MGP has contributed to building an environment that; supports recovery, health and subjective wellbeing, community, and opportunities for learning. 

See the Summary Report for this project

To request a full copy of the full evaluation report, please contact Dr Geraldine Brown: ccsjadmin.bes@coventry.ac.uk

Take a look at the related project: 'The role of land-based interventions in the transition from prison to the community'

Take a look at the related project: 'Evaluation of the Master Gardener programme'

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