Sat 22 June, 12-4pm

As part of National Civic Day we are celebrating Hobson’s Brook. Come along to one of the free activity hubs along the brook or walk the whole route (4 miles).

Hobson's Conduit, also called Hobson's Brook, is a watercourse that was built from 1610 to 1614 by Thomas Hobson and others to bring fresh water into Cambridge in order to combat disease, it is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument and historical relic. Hobson’s Brook originates from a freshwater spring at Nine Wells Nature Reserve on the south-west fringe of Cambridge (near Addenbrookes) and then flows along a green corridor into the Market Square in the city centre.

Activity Hub 1: Nine Wells Nature Reserve

Cambridge City Council ecologists, Cambridge Geological Society and the Cam Valley Form will have a range of activities and information about the nature reserve, the ancient freshwater spring and the Hobson’s Brook. You can find out what creatures live in the nature reserve with hands-on activities such as stream dipping and mini-beasts. [Please click here for full details]

Activity Hub 2: Trumpington Road - Botanic Gardens

The Brook flows along the western side of the Cambridge University Botanic Garden, who have generously offered to unlock the gate on Trumpington Road to give a rare and enhanced view from the bridge of the Hobson River, the 18th century gate and the sluice gate. Volunteers will be on hand to show you the views and talk about the Brook. (No access to the Botanic Garden through this gate).

Activity Hub 3: Hobson’s Brook Conduit at Lensfield Road & Trumpington Street

The Trustees of Hobson's Conduit will be present and have a display at the Conduit Head, on the junction of Lensfield Road and Trumpington Street. They will explain how the freshwater supply is channelled into the runnels along Trumpington Street and eventually arrives in the Market Square fountain. This is also now the location of the fountain that once stood in the Market Square.

Activity Hub 4: Cambridge Market Square

The Market Square was the location of the fountain that was fed by the Brook. Cambridge Past Present & Future will have a stall outside the Guildhall where we will be telling the story of the Brook and giving water saving advice (including where to fill your drinking bottle to avoid plastic waste - part of the national REFILL campaign app. https://refill.org.uk/)

Activity Hub 5: Hobson’s Brook Images & Archives, Cambridge Central Library

There will be an exhibition of images from the Cambridgeshire Collection called 'Nine Wells to the Market fountain' at Cambridge Central Library, Lion Yard CB2 3QD. The exhibition will be open from 21 June - 28 June (Monday - Friday 9.30am to 6pm, Saturday 10am - 6pm, Sunday noon - 4pm) and will be on the third floor of the library.

Walking the route of the Hobson’s Brook

You can walk all the route in either direction or just a section of it. The distance is about 4 miles. This is not an official walking route, so there will be teal (blue) coloured ribbons to help indicate the route on the day. Please click here for route directions, starting from Nine Wells.