UK & Ireland Tree Climbing Competition hosted at Exeter University

We were very excited to host the UK & Ireland Tree Climbing Competition on Streatham Campus in September as part of the Arboricultural Association’s 51st Amenity Conference. Categories included Throwline Test, Fast Climb, Rescue Test and Work Climb on trees such as a Pinus sylvestris, a Pinus nigra and a Cedar. The results of the competition and a review can be found here

tree climbing competition 2

tree climbing competition 1

tree climbing competition 3

climbing competition

arb association conference

Improvement Works – Hoopern Waterways

The University of Exeter will shortly be carrying out work on the top pond at leat at the Hoopern waterways. The works, funded through donation, aim to improve water quality and biodiversity of the pond network including:

  • Silt removal and control
  • Vegetation control
  • Planting marginal and water plants
  • Improving water flow and aeration

If you require further information, please contact the .


Higher Hoopern


The Amazing Benefits of Trees!

The University of Exeter Streatham and St Luke’s Campuses, fields and woodland areas contain over 10,000 mature trees managed by the Grounds Team and we are keen to show the amazing benefits of these magnificent trees.

We recently undertook an i-tree survey of our trees which converts measurements such as tree height, girth and canopy spread into an economic value of the natural benefits they provide. Using some of the results from this survey, we have produced tree information plaques.










New Tree Trail Guide, Streatham Campus

We are pleased to announce that we have produced a new Tree Trail guide which provides a route around Streatham Campus pointing out some interesting examples of our many wonderful varied trees. Please do download this guide from our website and explore our trees!

Tree Trail Guide September 2017 FINAL_Page_01

Tree Trail Guide September 2017 FINAL_Page_02

Tree Trail Guide September 2017 FINAL_Page_03

Tree Trail Guide September 2017 FINAL_Page_04

Tree Trail Guide September 2017 FINAL_Page_05

Tree Trail Guide September 2017 FINAL_Page_06

Tree Trail Guide September 2017 FINAL_Page_07

Tree Trail Guide September 2017 FINAL_Page_08

Tree Trail Guide September 2017 FINAL_Page_09

Tree Trail Guide September 2017 FINAL_Page_10

Tree Trail Guide September 2017 FINAL_Page_11

Tree Trail Guide September 2017 FINAL_Page_12










Green Flag Award 2017/18 – University Campuses up for People’s Choice Awards

The University of Exeter Streatham and St Luke’s Campuses have re-achieved the Green Flag Awards for 2017/18 and are among the nominees in a vote for the UK’s favourite spaces.

The campuses were among almost 1,800 UK sites to win awards and all are now part of a public vote to find the top 10.

Voting for the People’s Choice Awards is open throughout September, with the results due to be announced on Wednesday 11th October. Please vote for our campuses at

Iain Park, Director of Grounds at the University of Exeter, said “We were delighted to re-secure the Green Flag Awards and the public vote is another chance to make people aware of the University’s beautiful grounds. We are proud of the horticulture and open space maintenance that our staff manage to achieve for students, staff and visitors to enjoy as part of continued promotion of the University”.

The Green Flag Award scheme is run by Keep Britain Tidy and last year tens of thousands of people voted for their favourite park or green space.

Grounds Team celebrating re-achieving the Green Flag Award 2017/18

Grounds Team celebrating re-achieving the Green Flag Award 2017/18

greenflag-logo-footer  index


University gardener honoured by Queen will be sorely missed

Tributes have been paid to a well loved and highly respected former University of Exeter gardener, Gordon Newton MBE, who has passed away at the age of 71.

Gordon spent his working life of 50 years helping transform the University’s Streatham Campus grounds from fields and crops into the award winning botanical gardens it is renowned for today.

Having joined the University as an apprentice gardener aged just 15, after attending Exeter’s Ladysmith School, Gordon rose from his earliest tasks of washing pots and mixing soils to winning dozens of medals with the University at the Devon County Show, overseeing floral arrangements for weddings and other events and making bouquets for the Queen and other Royal visitors.

Gordon tended the grounds all year round, including during the Christmas and New Year periods. His last role at the University, which he held until his retirement in 2010 aged 65, was foreman of the University’s glasshouses and nursery.

In his spare time, Gordon had a passion for fireworks, Exeter City Football Club, speedway and photography.

Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter, said “Gordon’s passing will be met with genuine sadness by all who knew him and so our immediate thoughts are with his wife Susan, his sister Josie, and all those who knew and loved him.

Gordon joined the University straight from school at the age of 15 and worked at the University for over 50 years. In that time he contributed so much to the life of the institution and to the region. He will be remembered as a much loved individual who had an amazing talent for nurturing pants and flowers and for designing multi-award winning floral displays, winning over 40 prizes at the Devon County Show.

Generations of graduates will have been awarded their degrees surrounded by his floral displays and many staff will remember his wonderful flowers at so many University events. I was privileged to know Gordon and we often talked about his and my football teams.

It was particularly pleasing to see a nurseryman and gardener from Exeter get the recognition he so richly deserved when the Queen awarded him an MBE for his services. Gordon will be sorely missed.”

Iain Park, Director of Grounds at the University of Exeter, paid tribute to Gordon describing him as “one of life’s great characters.”

Iain said “Even when Gordon sadly become unwell, he still recounted some of his best times working in the University nursery. He always had a keen interest in plants and how to propagate them and was a regular visitor to other local nurseries throughout Devon, including the Exeter Council nursery and this helped him build lasting friendships.

It would take a very large book to produce all the stories that Gordon had about working on the grounds here. He always tried to make sure he did the best job he could and promote the University positively. If he did not know about something in horticulture he would go and find out about it, long before access to the internet was available.

If he could help he would go out of his way to try to do so. If you did something that fell short of his expected standards, he would also go out of his way to let you know!

I know that those who met Gordon will remember him, for those who didn’t; they missed out on meeting one of life’s great characters.”

Gordon Newton MBE who has sadly passed away at the age of 71

Gordon Newton MBE who has sadly passed away at the age of 71