Photo of guests gathered by a tree outside during the Fruit Routes Harvest event

A reflection on one of the most popular Fruit Routes Harvests yet

Loughborough University hosted one of its most popular Fruit Routes Harvests to date, with guests of all ages in attendance.

The two-day event ran a programme of sustainable and creative activities suitable for everyone, from apple pressing to making jams and jellies to hosting its very own ‘Bake Off’ style competition.

Other highlights of the event included an enchanting walk with sounds and stories, Studio Polpo’s stick construction using recycled bike inner tubes and hazel wands, a chance to meet the campus hedgehog Kazzie as well as an improvisation session in the Fine Art Gallery.

The activities took place across the University campus and were led by the University’s Sustainability team and artist Anne-Marie Culhane.

photo of artist Anne-Marie Culhane and Sustainability Manager Jo Shields hugging

The Harvest was also a huge success thanks to the volunteer students and staff, the University’s Landscaping & Gardening Society (LAGS), Transition Loughborough, the Grounds and Gardens team and academics from the School of Social Sciences and Humanities who all contributed to the harvesting and running of activities across the weekend.

One of the student volunteers Tom Calcluth commented: “Having taken part in Fruit Routes for the past three years, I can genuinely say it's one of my favourite projects the University holds.

“When I've been promoting it to other students, I can honestly say it's one of the most wholesome events I've been part of during my time at Uni. Using the university's own resources and putting them back into the community and students whilst holding a captivating event epitomises the cooperative and reciprocal culture we strive to produce at Loughborough.”

Sustainability Manager Jo Shields added: “The event has started to become generational.  I now see people coming back with their family, their children, their parents and grandparents. Its lovely.”

Fruit Routes is an award-winning initiative that was created over seven years ago with the aim of developing the campus to be an edible landscape through the planting of fruit trees, access to foraging opportunities and an exchange of knowledge with the wider community through engaging events.

Photo of different types of berries foraged in wooden bowls 

The next Fruit Routes event will take place in 2020 in time for the beginning of summer, where the local community can expect more exciting and fascinating opportunities to engage with University initiatives and interactive sessions.

For more information about the Fruit Routes project – including apple-themed recipes – visit the dedicated blog

Photo credit: Emma Lloyd and Hannah Wilson