the mayor plants the first tree. Byrons Pools autumn 2014
the mayor plants the first tree. Byrons Pools autumn 2014

The Cambridge Community Collection

Apple trees of every variety from within the United Kingdom, approximately eight hundred different varieties, will be planted in a range of locations south of Cambridge City centre over the next five years. The vision; to plant two of each variety from as many UK varieties, approximately fifteen hundred in total, as part of a uniquely designed linear orchard marking routes between the new developments south of the city and the city centre. A collection of trees to be nurtured, maintained and enjoyed by the community of South Cambridge.

‘Why Apple Trees? Planted in the Botanical Gardens in Cambridge is an apple tree grown from the graft of the tree Isaac Newton sat underneath when developing his thoughts on gravity. Finding it lead me to think about apples in relation to Cambridge, which is long established. It also made me think about the way we reproduce apple varieties, not by seed but through grafting. What a powerful metaphor for the growing Southern fringes of the City. Cambridge is also a city of learning, of collections and of cutting edge research. To create an archive of as many apple varieties as it is possible to grow, adds to this richness and bio-diversity.’

– Neville Gabie


In December 2012 the artist Neville Gabie was appointed by Cambridge City Council to develop a proposal in response to a brief considering routes and connectivity for the South Cambridge area. Given the number of large scale developments within the Southern Fringes of the city, the brief was specifically intended to consider and develop an artist’s project in response to;

  • Links between the new developments on Clay Farm and Glebe Farm with the existing communities of Trumpington, the city centre and outlying villages – Wayfinding
  • To consider routes between Addenbrooke’s Hospital and the proposed Biomedical development area with new and existing residential communities and the City.
  • To promote walking and cycling routes to Nine Wells Nature Reserve, Byron’s Pools, Grantchester Meadows, the new development on Trumpington Meadows and the Country Park.
  • To work with the City Council and all key stakeholders, including local community/ interest groups – and to link the work to other commissioned artists working in the Southern Fringe across all development sites.
  • To develop and implement the final project over a three – four year period.
Planting Map – Alphabetical zones

Byrons Pools 2014


The Artist.

Born in South Africa in 1959, Neville Gabie has an MA in sculpture from the Royal College of Art [1988] and has since gone on to establish an international reputation for his work. Often working in response to specific locations and communities, many of his projects respond directly to social, political and environmental issues. Projects include; Eighteen Months as artist in residence on the Olympic Park, London during construction; a four month exclusion to Antarctica [Haley Research Station] with the British Antarctic Survey Artists and Writers Programme; residencies in China, Western Australia, South Africa and Luxembourg. His work is also included in the Tate Gallery, Arts Council, Olympic Museum, collections amongst others.

For more information please see the artists website. http://www.nevillegabie.com