On Fruit Routes 550 hedgerow whips and over 150 one and two year old fruit and nut trees have been planted, mostly along a 1km route. This includes fruit and nut trees of 55 different varieties, including some heritage varieties, of 18 different fruit and nut species.
Trees have been located on the sides of buildings as well as in small orchard clusters. Trees have been planted by the gardens team and community members of all ages, families, staff, students and student volunteers over a number of years.
Planters at the first event received a limited edition screenprint in exchange for their physical labour. Please see the map to find out which trees are planted where. The Fruit Routes map (link) also gives details of variety, ripening time and use for the fruit.
Ten years on, the trees are starting to create a new sense of pllce, to create a different ecology noticable through the stopping off points of birds, the buzzing of pollinators and also barefoot students revising together or taking a break from the library. The Gardens Team maintain the route, including pruning and mulching with some help from volunteers and the route is managed organically with no artificial pesticides or herbicides.
It is hoped that the Route will continue to grow. The Gardens team are currently exploring more sites for trees which can grow up the side of buildings. These trees are trained to grow flat against the walls in two dimensional form. The apricot and quince on the side of the David Davies building have been particularly successful, taking advantage of a rain sheltered, south facing site and the insulating warmth of the building behind them.
Rachel Senior, Senior Gardener, Gardens Team shares her experience of Fruit Routes over 10 years: