In Nottingham
The disused and overgrown area behind the local Radford and Lenton Library was transformed into a community garden by supervised teams of offenders on Community Payback. The project was completed in conjunction with Nottingham City Council whose staff originally helped to clear the site.

Supervised offenders transformed the area by:

  • creating and planting borders,
  • laying turf,
  • paving and creating bark chip paths.


At the end of the garden creation project nearly 700 hours of unpaid reparation work had been completed. The work also enabled the offenders to learn new landscaping skills.

The garden is being used by local residents and groups to grow organic produce, and as an area where children can play and learn about gardening. The project has also utilised recycled materials, donated by local businesses which promotes sustainability.Fiona Corbett, Lenton and Radford Forum Manager, said: “It’s been great having the Community Payback team at the library helping out with all the heavy work and digging. They have all been very hard working and polite. Without them the project would have taken a lot longer than planned. The garden will be open to the community 24/7 and we hope to have regular visits from schools, church groups, volunteers and other members of the community. They can come and plant, grow or just sit in the garden and read a book from the library.”

Alison Walker, Group Library Manager, commented: “The team has been amazing and gone way beyond the call of duty to help us source materials and to find donations as we had an extremely limited budget. The supervisors have been fantastic and have communicated with volunteers, staff and councillors to make the project work. The payback offenders have done a great job and I know that some of them have really seen the value of the work. The community now have a resource in a community garden from a piece of wasteland covered in brambles.”