Here’s another inspirational project. Fruit Routes is an artist-led initiative that started in 2011 to develop the University of Loughborough’s grounds as an edible landscape anchored around fruit tree planting. It was devised by Anne-Marie Culhane, an artist I’ve already mentioned for her Apple Sock. She works with other artists too, such as Paul Conneally, a poet-artist who does lovely things with walking, renga and haiku. Fruit Routes joins the dots between food trees, pathways and creative acts of appreciation. It aims to increase the opportunities for foraging on campus by planting and protecting food trees, and by sharing knowledge about foraging with the university and wider community through participatory events and mapping. Planting events are held too, so it should create a legacy of several hundred fruit trees on site which will bear fruit for years to come for people to harvest, share and enjoy. This short film has some thoughts by participants at the planting weekend. Of the many acts of creative appreciation around the trees, there has been a barefoot blindfold walk and an event called Paths of Desire led by Jo Dacombe, where voice was given to birds and the foraging routes of animals were observed and tracked.

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