Pictured is a selection of fruit and berries with a teapot.

Fruit Routes event to prompt conversations on global issues

Loughborough University’s Fruit Routes project is once again returning to campus from 13-15 June.

Every year the community event is based around a certain theme and the 2018 focus is on connecting local and global issues.

This year’s celebration provides three days to share ideas for action towards a more sustainable life, drawing on key themes form the award-winning Fruit Routes project.

Fruits Routes is an artist-led initiative created by Anne-Marie Culhane working with the University’s Sustainability team.

It aims to develop the campus as an edible landscape, planting fruit trees, increasing foraging opportunities, and sharing knowledge with the wider community through engaging events.

This year’s event programme includes:

  • A visit to the campus apiary
  • Night-time moth trapping
  • Pamphlet-making with Dr Gillian Whiteley
  • ‘Learning the art of listening’ with PhD art researcher Zoe Peterson
  • A foraging walk with Anne-Marie Culhane and PhD food systems researcher Jamie Stone
  • An open discussion about climate change, institution and individuals’ responsibility with Dr Tom Matthews,  whose work includes public engagement with climate change
  • Participatory experiments with visiting artist Jo Dacombe

The free Fruit Routes recipe book will also be launched at the event and members of local groups such as Transition Loughborough, Fearon Hall, SMART research group and Loughborough Students’ Union’s Landscape and Gardening Society will be represented at activities and discussions over the three days.

Jo Shield, Sustainability Manager at Loughborough, commented: “The summer event will provide a safe and welcoming environment for people to come and learn about what we do, who we are and what they can do.

“It also provides an opportunity to explore with us and academic colleagues some of the greatest issues facing us as a species today. 

“All of this can be done whilst indulging in wild tea and scones, foraged wild campus soup and homemade fruit cordial. We hope to see you there.”

Artist Anne-Marie Culhane added: “Fruit Routes is a direct and localised response to some of the major ecological challenges that we face today.

“Many of these challenges require a creative, community-led response that involves imagination, and thinking of different ways of doing and being together.

“At this event, we are asking ‘how can we work with, support and encourage individual and institutional change?’ 

“The meeting of local community, students, university staff and academics at many of our events provides a rich melting pot to explore such questions.”

Fruit Routes will take place at The Yurt in Barefoot Orchard, opposite Pilkington Library. It is open to all and free to attend – though booking is required for the apiary trip. Those interested in visiting the bees should email environmental@lboro.ac.uk.

Further information and a timetable of events can be found on the dedicated Fruit Routes blog or by visiting @fruitroutes or @SustainLboro on Twitter.