Our summer events included visits to the Campus beehives, co-creating  a collaborative poem, a foraging walk around the fruit route, sharing foraged teas and locally produced food.

On Friday, local poet Paul Conneally and English lecturer Kerry Featherstone guided students and local people through a twelve verse renga. A renga is a non-narrative poem that creates a varied mosaic of images which explore our relationship to the world. The poem was written over four hours with 26 contributors. You can read the renga below.

Meanwhile, Jo Shields, Sustainability Manager and visitors doned bee suits and took people to visit the hives and sample fresh honey. See response below.

On Saturday I led a walk around the fruit route which included introducing the project, talking through the planting design and motivations for the project and the different orchard areas. We also did some foraging of gingko, elderflower, lime leaves, garlic mustard and nettle. Some of the Fruit Routes trees are well established now including the apricot, quince and grapevine growing up the side of the David Davies building; the almonds, which although suffering from leaf curl due to the damp and humid weather this year are huge and cherries that are already fruiting. We were also surprised to come across a female pheasant with twelve new chicks at the side of Burleigh Court hotel, a Campus inhabitant that we had not encountered before.

The walkers then enjoyed a delicious brunch provided by local café Cafe BomBom. The Saturday event was part of a wider weekend of events celebrating growing, creativity and health in Loughborough.

A new, up to date map is now available which shows the varieties on site and when they are ready to harvest. Please email environment@lboro.ac.uk if you would like a map.

Some responses to the day:

Thank you for showing us the bees. Really interesting hearing about what you do there – there’s learning about bees from websites, and then there’s learning about bees when wearing ‘the kit’, watching the things being handled, hearing them fizz around and eyeball you directly in front of your veil, see them constantly launch themselves at that 45 deg angle out of the hive and observing them at close quarters as you hold a frame, all while having it explained in context….Something a few academics could learn from ! (uni. Academic)

We had a lovely time and think that it is a smashing project.  Matthew (6) keeps asking us to put lime leaves in his salad so that was a particularly big hit!! (local resident)

A GANG OF LAMBS Fruit Routes Renga