Rooted – A wellbeing walk into nature near Addenbrooke’s Hospital

Rooted shares a flat 20 minute walk out from the Hospital site to the nearby Nine Wells Nature Reserve along a clearly signposted footpath. This place of calmness and wonder can bring much needed distraction and nourishment for all. Richly illustrated with new creative work and images of mycelium discovered as part of the co-creation process with staff and volunteers, you can read it here or download your own a copy to print. 

Dr Jen McGaley, from the Crop Science Centre, supported us to also adventure under the ground as part of this process. We gathered earth samples on the walk which Jen then shared back afterwards as a series of stunning micrographs to further inspire the group’s creativity.

The samples taken from the grassy paths, field margins and woodland between Addenbrookes and Nine Wells hosted a beautiful array of mycorrhizal fungi. But one sample stood out: some grass roots taken from an unpromising patch of trampled lawn by the hospital exit was completely packed with mycorrhizal fungi. It demonstrated how little we know about these fungal networks, and that we can't predict what's going on underground based on what we see on the surface. I hope it will change how people think about and value the soil under their feet! It was great to share the sampling and the resulting discoveries with such an enthusiastic and thoughtful group of people. 

Rooted graphic


Rooted is part of our River Cam CAN project. Printed copies are available for staff as part of the Arts Festival 2024 (1st – 5th July).

Rooted is dedicated to our much loved friend and colleague Rosie Tween (1956 – 2024), a clinical nurse specialist at the Hospital. Rosie loved spending time companionably in nature and was a tireless ambassador for the work of CCI, contributing her story to the Taking Note project. This now features as part of Welcome, the found poem by Kaddy Benyon on the corridor to the Treatment Centre. More information about Addenbrooke's Art programme and collections here

Rosie Tween

More information on this fascinating landscape, Nine Wells and Hobson’s Conduit here. Ecologist John Meed’s work about the area can be discovered here including his latest report which sets out the value of this piece of green belt to the farmland birds.

There is a wonderful wealth of other spaces for nature on the doorstep of the Hospital that can be explored. Here are just a few:

Wandlebury Country Park
Magog Down 
Hobson’s Park 
Trumpington Meadows Country Park