Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 10°C


Hollesley: Prisoners will no longer work at Suffolk Punch stud farm

12:00 17 May 2011

Horses on the Suffolk Punch stud farm in Hollesley

Horses on the Suffolk Punch stud farm in Hollesley

PRISON bosses have moved to end the decades-old practice of sending inmates to work with horses as part of rehabilitation and education programmes.


Hundreds of prisoners at Hollesley Bay, near Woodbridge, have gained work skills on the neighbouring Suffolk Punch stud farm over the past 70 years.

But that practice, thought by many to have a calming influence on the inmates, has now been discontinued.

It represents a further split between the prison site and the world-famous farm, which was previously owned by the Prison Service and has now been turned into a visitor centre promoting the Suffolk Punch breed.

Both adult and youth prisoners have worked on the farm to gain work experience and qualifications since the 1930s, although in recent years only inmates from the youth Warren Hill jail had been sent there. The prison complex also houses an adult open prison.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “YOI Warren Hill provides a number of opportunities for young offenders to gain qualifications and work experience.

“It has been decided that working on the stud farm will no longer be used to help young people gain qualifications.

“The prison will continue to provide a range of other qualifications and work experience to help young offenders get a job on their release. No staff have been made redundant as a result of the decision, but transferred to work in other parts of the prison.”

The Prison Service took on the farm with the running of the coastal site in 1938. But with changing times, it decided it was no longer essential and sold the farm – along with the largest herd of Suffolk Punch horses in the world – to the Suffolk Punch Trust in 2006. It is now a popular tourist attraction.

Inmates had continued to work at the farm, however, under the expert stewardship of head groom Bruce Smith, who has worked at the site for more than 30 years. Mr Smith is believed to be in talks with management about his role.


1 comment

  • It's not "horses for courses" any more!

    Report this comment

    martha farquhar

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Broomhill Swimming Pool in Ipswich has received a Heritage Lottery Fund grant. L-R: Robyn Llewellyn (head of Heritage Lottery Fund - East of England), Cllr Bryony Rudkin, Tim Mills, Garath Jones and Mark Ling.

Broomhill pool in Ipswich could reopen to the public at Easter 2018 – its 80th anniversary – after its re-opening proposals got the backing of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Georgia and Jodie Mutch have lost 8.5 stone between them after joining Slimming World. The sisters are pictured in Ipswich. Georgis is on left on the latest photo

Jodie Mutch and sister Georgia are celebrating new slim-line figures after losing five stone and three stone respectively.

The Robin Hood Country Show will feature a jousting display.

Looking for something to do this weekend? Here are our top ideas.

One of the CCTV images police have issued in their search for a teenager who stole a bicycle from Grimwade Street, Ipswich

Police have issued CCTV images of a teenager they are keen to trace after a bicycle was stolen from Grimwade Street in Ipswich.

A car on Brackenwood Crescent has rolled into a house  causing minor damage.

A bearded dragon narrowly escaped unharmed, if a little bit shaken, after a car slammed into the front of a house in Bury St Edmunds earlier today.

Average speed camera.

Average speed cameras on the A12 on the Essex and Suffolk border have not yet been switched on – three months after they were installed.

The entrance to PPG Industries in Stowmarket. (File image from 2012)

Two males believed to be from Afghanistan have been arrested on immigration offences in Stowmarket this morning.

Airman 1st Class Darren Phillips, 48th Equipment Maintenance Squadron crew chief at RAF Lakenheath, who died in a motorcycle accident

A memorial service for a 20-year-old US Air Force airman who died after a crash near Barton Mills is being held.

Woodbridge Shuck Shellfish Festival

If you’d like to treat your tastebuds this weekend, you’re in the right place.

Thomas Harvey's winning entry in the Landguard Photography Competition 2015.

Stunning photographs of Suffolk’s most southerly point attracted big interest on-line with around 800 people voting for their favourite.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages