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The Nine Wells

The Nine Wells

Bringing people and nature together

Water, sun, soil and location are celebrated in this panel by looking at how local people are working with nature around the city to cultivate, grow and develop systems that nurture the whole community. At the centre of the panel sits Ninewells Hospital which was named after the natural water springs that once flowed through this part of Dundee.

The Nine Wells cartoon

1. Ninewells Hospital

When it opened in 1974, Ninewells Hospital was the first new teaching hospital to be built in the UK since Victorian times. Since then, thousands of healthcare practitioners have trained at Ninewells, and many groundbreaking treatments have been introduced – including keyhole surgery and robotic surgery. The hospital is set in beautiful grounds which contain the award-winning Maggie’s Centre, designed by Frank Gehry, and the Carseview Centre, providing mental health treatment and support.


2. Heron in flight

Herons are regular visitors to the River Tay, the Dighty Burn and other water sources around the city, a positive sign that these waterways continue to support nature.


3. Victoria Gardens

This urban community garden enables schoolchildren and volunteers from different cultures to grow food together. In 2023, Victoria Gardens received a Certificate of Recognition in the NatureScot It’s Your Neighbourhood ‘Pollinator Friendly Award’, and the garden is part of the Grow Dundee network.


4. Wildflowers

Eden Project’s wildflower habitat project began in spring 2022 – sites included Seabraes, Dawson Park, Camperdown Park and Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc. Wildflower mini-meadows can also be enjoyed throughout Dundee every summer.


5. Lady Well

The Lady Well originally stood at the corner of Hilltown and Ladywell Lane. It was an important source of water for Dundee residents and it remained in use until the construction of Victoria Road in 1872.


6. River Tay dolphins

Bottlenose dolphins are often spotted in the River Tay. Good times to spot them are early evenings in summer, and when the tide is coming in because dolphins often follow shoals of fish upstream.


7. Ninewells Community Garden

This popular community garden sits within the arboretum at Ninewells Hospital, near the Maggie’s Centre, and its mission is to provide an environment where gardening supports physical and mental wellbeing, therapy and rehabilitation. Garden highlights include wheelchair-accessible paths, flower borders, veg beds, a small orchard and a sensory garden, all managed by volunteers.


8. Soft fruits

For many Dundonians – including youngsters – summer meant heading to the fields of nearby farms in Angus, Fife and Perthshire for berry-picking. Strawberries and raspberries are traditional soft fruit crops but, in recent years, local farmers have also been growing blackcurrants, blackberries and cherries. The ‘Tayberry’ – a raspberry/blackberry hybrid – was developed in Dundee, along with several raspberry and blackcurrant varieties. 

9. Tay View Community Garden

Another community garden in the Grow Dundee network – a group of gardens, orchards, foraging areas and allotments in and around Dundee.


10. Rock, sand, soil

All life depends on soil, and this is just one of the topics of research at The James Hutton Institute which has a centre at Invergowrie, in Dundee.


11. Duntrune Community Garden

With a series of colourful pocket gardens and a community growing space, Duntrune Community Garden is managed by SAMH, the Scottish Association for Mental Health. Regular workshops involve volunteers and participants of all ages.


12. The James Hutton Institute

A globally recognised research organisation whose work looks at how science can help to drive more sustainable use of land, crops and natural resources and, ultimately, deliver better food and environmental security.


13. Dundee Therapy Garden

Located at Dudhope Park, this special garden supports serving, ex-forces and ex-uniformed emergency personnel who are facing mental health challenges. Here, tailored therapies are provided in a calming green space environment.


14. Loch Tay

Although it’s more than 60 miles (96km) from Dundee, this is where the River Tay begins. Loch Tay stretches for around 14 miles (23km) and it’s the sixth largest loch in Scotland.


15. Wellgate

The Wellgate can be traced back to the early 15th century, and it formed a link between Murraygate and Hilltown. The suffix ‘gate’ comes from the Old Norse word ‘gata’, which means ‘road’ or ‘street’ and, in this case, Wellgate led to the Lady Well – an important source of water for the city.


16. Cultivated plants

Plenty of keen home gardeners mean that Dundee’s residential gardens are also providing seasonal food and shelter for birds, insects and small mammals.


17. Carse of Gowrie

Many years ago, the flat, fertile strip of land between Perth and Dundee was drained to create the rich, sheltered farmland that exists today. Historically, the soil has supported orchards, soft fruit and arable crops, like wheat, barley and potatoes.

This panel was stitched by

Amina Group

Shanaz Ahmad

Yasmin Ahmad

Arati Ahmed

June Anderson

Hanifa Ahmed

Kulsum Hussein

Shazia Hussain

Latifa Javeid

Musarat Khan

Angela Mehlert

Asmau Mohammed

Mabruka Mohamed

Nasreen Mohammed

Assma Rehan

Nasreen Shabbir

Shahnaz Ulhaque

Khadija Yakub

Mst Bakul Akter

Maqsoodan Arshid

Jean Davidson

Zubeda Dawud

Christine Don

Sharman Frost

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