Rooted In Nature

Petra's map of the underground

This extraordinary map of the underground was created this week as part of our work with colleagues from the Addenbrooke’s community. Working with artist Filipa Pereira Stubbs, we’ve been talking about the value of taking time to step outside, to feel the ground beneath our feet, and to notice the natural world literally on our doorstep. We’ve thought about how this changes us.

To have no idea… to play and to think as I’m doing it and see what it becomes. It’s become an underground map, thinking about all the things underground; the seeds and the lines of the walk overground reaching down into the earth and reaching up.

Addenbrookes Walk
Addenbrookes Walk
Addenbrookes Walk

Our time together started with a walk out to Nine Wells, a nearby local nature reserve. Accompanied by Dr Jen McGaley, an expert in the incredible mycorrhizal canopy that exists under our feet, and Guy Belcher, the City Council Biodiversity officer, we looked and listened carefully and also gathered samples which were then explored in a later creative workshop back in the Perry Suite in the heart of the hospital. 

Iris sample
Grass sample

A nest -  I thought it would be nice if the nest was in the branches of the Black Poplar.

Jane's nest

Together we will be producing a new well-being walk for this community, showing others how to reach the nearby Nine Wells Nature Reserve and reminding them of how this can nourish a greater sense of well-being, away from the busy, hot corridors of the hospital, and surrounding buildings and car parks.

I started to think about way finding - and I was thinking, we’ve lost our way, which way are we going with all this building on the land.

Gill's map

In my map I’ve been inspired by video games…a top down view of yourself and a cone of light to let you see how far you can see - what five different senses you have: what can I see, what can I feel, you can feel the wind, where’s it coming from - two directions, pushing against me - what can you hear - plenty of bird song, lots of different birds, then the train going past…then the occasional crow! White is touch, blue is sight, red is what you perceive to smell, green is what you can hear and a yellow dot for tea, we were given tea.

Chris' map

This project is part of our work on the River Cam CAN project. With thanks to Chris, Jane, Jen, Gill, Guy, Petra, Phil, and John.