Stewarding a living, dynamic thing

What we are doing, what I am doing is attempting to be the steward of something that's a living, dynamic thing. And at the end of the day, when I get to embrace that living, dynamic thing, that's when I'm at my happiest. I’m really interested in how to share this space and this feeling with others, so it was wonderful to see the young people come and spend time in the Fellows Garden. I love seeing how others can enjoy time in nature and find new ways to be together.

Steve Coghill, Head Gardener, King’s College

Thanks to Steve and his team, we’ve been able to bring a number of groups of young people to explore the Fellows Garden of King’s College over the month of March, welcoming them to this hidden space and inviting them to think of it as part of their city. Children and young people from Arbury Primary School, North Cambridge Academy, and Abbey People’s Girls Group have spent time creatively exploring the gardens alongside artists Hilary Cox Condron, Sally Todd and Caroline Wendling. Follow up workshops then happened back in their own communities.

Exploring 1
Exploring 2
Exploring 4

Mycelium expert Dr Jen McGaley from the Crop Science Centre joined too, introducing the idea of this incredible underground canopy and sharing her process of sampling and investigating.  

Close your eyes and listen. Make art reality.

Make your dreams come true. Just focus on the movement of the water.

Close your eyes down by the river.

The water ripples like scales on the dragon’s back.

Feel the sun on your face. Run to your heart’s content

A collaborative poem by NCA students


I liked looking at the blue fungi. The colour was dark blue and light blue. Why does it look like that? I loved that day. I would like to do that again next time.....I liked doing the wax all over the paper. I loved it…. I learnt that there are invisible fungi. Fungi help plants and the plants help the fungi in return.

Arbury students (aged 8)

As teachers, we were able to take time to stand back and observe how the children each responded differently, noting how absorbed they became and how free and experimental they were with the different media available. Everything was accessible to everyone; there were no right or wrong answers. Children were able to engage with experts who were supportive and encouraging and ready to share their knowledge and skills. In times when it is all too easy to narrow the curriculum, ‘Be More Tree’ has definitely been an experience which has broadened and enriched the learning of our Year 4 children in a memorable way. 

Diane Rawlins, Arbury Primary School