Bowled Over By Act Of Kindness

Our Arboriculture Manager, Peter, found a very dirty hidden bag containing some wooden bowls and bowling shoes in the Lower Hoopern Valley.

Peter cleaned the bag and contacted the bowls club who traced the owner and apparently these items were stolen from the owner’s car in June 2017 while visiting Exeter from the New Forest.

Peter contacted the owner and met with him to return these items. The owner was delighted and very grateful.

Peter you have gone above and beyond and are our hero!

Arboriculture Manager, Peter, returning items to the owner

Items found hidden in Lower Hoopern Valley


Exeter Floral Trail – Tuesday 22nd to Thursday 24th May 2018

As the world goes flower crazy with the start of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show later this month, Exeter is set to get its own exciting touch of floral glamour with the launch of the first ever Exeter Floral Trail on Tuesday 22nd to Thursday 24th May.

As part of the Chelsea Fringe Festival, the Exeter Floral Trail is free to view and will feature beautiful, bespoke floral designs displayed in historic and retails sites across Exeter. Over 18 venues have signed up to be part of the Exeter Floral Trail which aims to raise awareness and funds for AgeUK Exeter.

The University of Exeter is delighted to be included in the Exeter Floral Trail and we will have a design on display in the Forum Building on Streatham Campus.

The Exeter Floral Trail is the brainchild of the team at the British Academy of Floral Art floristry school in Dunchideock, Exeter, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Over the past decade, the Academy has produced a record number of RHS Chelsea Gold medallists and British Master Florists.

Academy Principal, Tina Parkes, who won RHS Chelsea Gold with her Floral Kite just last year said: “We are excited to be bringing the Chelsea Fringe Festival to the city for the first time and have been overwhelmed by the positive response to the idea of the Exeter Floral Trail. We aim to bring a hint of floral magic to the city, whilst raising awareness and funds for the valuable work of AgeUK Exeter.”

Visitors to Exeter over these special three days will find unique floral designs created by tutors and students at the British Academy of Floral Art in the retail outlets of Build-a-Bear, Caroline Charles, Cath Kidston, Crafty Cakes, John Lewis, Lloyds Lounge, Mantis, Music Unlimited, Waterstones, White Stuff as well as AgeUK Exeter. Some displays will feature in store windows and on view day and night, whilst others may be nestled within the venue and accessible only during opening hours.

Exeter’s historic venues are participating with designs to be installed in St Nicholas Priory, Exeter University and in the grounds of Exeter Cathedral. The city’s retail florists are backing The Exeter Floral Trail initiative too with their own Chelsea Fringe Festival displays at Trugs Florist, St Leonard’s Florist, Jane’s Florist, Dunstan’s Florist and Blooms Florist.

Spotting the floral designs will be made easier with a special Exeter Floral Trail guide available free from Exeter Tourist Information, Exeter Cathedral and participating locations or online at and on the website of organisers, British Academy of Floral Art, at

The Exeter Floral Trail will make stunning Chelsea Fringe Festival selfies, and visitors are encouraged to post their images on social media using the hashtags #exeterfloraltrail #chelseafringe2018 #britishacademyoffloralart.





Critically Endangered Tree Growing on Campus

We are so pleased to have this Wollemi Pine tree on campus and report that it is thriving.

The Wollemi Pine, as it is known, was thought to only exist in fossil records until it was rediscovered in Wollemi National Park, New South Wales, Australia in 1994.

Still listed as a critically endangered species, it is not a Pine but more closely related to the Araucaria species such as the Monkey Puzzle tree.

Critically endangered Wollemi Pine tree May 2018

Joint Community Project – Litter Pick St David’s Neighbourhood

The University Grounds Team and the University Community Student Wardens teamed up with the St David’s Litter Busters group on Friday 27th April 2018 in a successful joint community project, litter picking around the St David’s neighbourhood.

Despite it being a very wet rainy day, we collected numerous bags of rubbish and had some interesting finds!

Before the litter pick; dry and raring to start!

After the litter pick; soaking wet but very happy with our achievement!

Joint Litter Pick Project, St David’s Neighbourhood – Friday 27th April 2018

The University’s Grounds staff are very happy to be teaming up with the St David’s Litter Busters Group on Friday 27th April 2018 to carry out a litter pick in the St David’s neighbourhood.

This is our first joint project and we are looking forward to an enjoyable and successful day.

First Mini Harvest – Grounds Nursery Home Grown Cut Flowers

We are delighted to announce that we have our first mini harvest of Antirrhinums which have been grown in the Grounds Nursery! These flowers will be used in the University’s floristry displays and bouquets.

Antirrhinums grown in the Grounds Nursery

Progress Update – Grounds Nursery Home Grown Cut Flowers

Our first progress update following our post on 5th February 2018 where we reported that our Floristry and Nursery Team have branched out into growing our own cut flowers for our bouquets and displays to complement the flowers bought from our amazing local supplier.

Our Antirrhinums have ignored the wintery weather and begun to bloom in the Nursery and have just begun to make their way into our floristry displays. Once the threat of frost has passed, we will be moving them out into the polytunnel to slow them down a little so we don’t have to use them all at once!

We have been sowing more cut flower seeds and pricking out the seedlings as they get big enough to handle. Now that the worst of the cold weather has (hopefully) passed, they will be shooting up in no time.

Antirrhinums being grown in the Nursery March 2018


Antirrhinums being grown in the Nursery March 2018

Limonium sinuatum being grown in the Nursery March 2018

Pennisetum villosum being grown in the Nursery March 2018

University Spring Community Day – Saturday 17th March 2018

The University is holding it’s Spring Community Day from 10.30am to 2.30pm on Saturday 17th March 2018 and would like to invite everyone in the local community to come and explore our diverse and vibrant community; with wacky experiments by world class scientists, sports activities, street food, face painting, a bouncy castle, creative crafts, a special appearance by rugby Premiership champions Exeter Chiefs and much more.

Please do come along and enjoy a fabulous day!


Grounds Nursery – Home Grown Cut Flowers

Our Floristry and Nursery Team have decided to branch out into growing our own cut flowers for our bouquets and displays to complement the flowers bought from our amazing local supplier.

They have been busy sowing seeds and preparing ground for a cut flower area at the Grounds Nursery on Streatham Campus, where the container grown plants can be moved in and out of the glasshouses for early blooming.

Our Dianthus (Sweet Williams) have been making their way into our displays since the end of December, along with some of the beautiful foliage we have growing at the Grounds Nursery and on campus.

Look out for our own cut Digitalis (Foxgloves), Antirrhinums (Snapdragons), Helenium, grasses and many more beautiful home grown flowers in your bouquets and displays in the summer. We will be updating their progress on here for you to see!

Antirrhinums being grown in the Grounds Nursery

Delphiniums being grown in the Grounds Nursery

Catananche being grown in the Grounds Nursery

Sweet Williams that were grown in the Grounds Nursery