In partnership with the UK Ministry of Justice, The Orchard Project hopes to create an orchard in every prison in England and Wales. As well as absorbing carbon dioxide, local orchards provide fresh produce without the need for polluting transport -- “a real saving considering [more than] 80 per cent of our fruit is imported into the UK,” says Dan Hasler, the charity’s project manager for Greater Manchester. In addition, orchards benefit the soil, birds and pollinators, and wildflowers. What’s more, the project gives inmates a chance to learn new skills, to earn a small wage while incarcerated, and to see the impact of their love and care of the orchard. Alex Boscarino is an activities manager at Manchester’s Thorn Cross Prison, where an orchard was planted in 2016. “By giving them the responsibility of looking after the orchard,” he says, “it gives them a purpose and a sense of achievement.”

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