Successful initiative; growing our own cut flowers for bouquets and floral displays

We are delighted to announce that the Grounds team are now successfully growing our own cut flowers at the Estate Services Centre Nursery, which are used for the fabulous bouquets and beautiful floral displays on campus.

This initiative from our talented Nursery and Floristry staff means that we are reducing our carbon footprint, working within our sustainability practices and reducing costs.

We have received excellent positive feedback from our customers, who really embrace the unique personal touch that the displays and bouquets now give as the flowers are grown in-house on our estate.

Photos below show the journey for this initiative; starting from the newly built raised bed right through to a beautiful floral display created with our in-house grown cut flowers.

Newly built raised bed for the cut flowers

Raised bed planted

Wow look at the raised bed now!

Some of the cut flowers which will be used in our bouquets and floral displays

Some of the cut flowers which will be used in our bouquets and floral displays

 

Floral display with our in-house grown cut flowers

 

The end result! A beautiful floral display with our in-house grown cut flowers

Celebrating Green Flag Award 2019/20!

The Grounds Team have proudly celebrated the successful re-achievement of  the prestigious Green Flag Award for 2019/20 for our beautiful Streatham Campus and St Luke’s Campus.

The Award is the mark of a quality park or green space which has achieved the international standards for open space excellence and reflects the hard work that our dedicated team put into maintaining and nurturing our grounds to the highest standards.

Streatham Campus receives the award for the eighth consecutive year and St Luke’s Campus for the sixth consecutive year.

Green Flag Award 2019/20 Winner!

We are delighted to announce that we have again received the prestigious Green Flag Award for both our Streatham Campus and our St Luke’s Campus!

The Award is the mark of a quality park or green space which has achieved the international standards for open space excellence.

The Grounds team work hard throughout the year nurturing our beautiful grounds and we are extremely proud of this achievement and the wonderful grounds that we have the privilege to work in and enjoy.

Bees’ Needs Week 8th-14th July 2019

Bees and other pollinators are vital to growing lots of our favourite foods and for plants to flourish in our fields and gardens.

It is Bees’ Needs Week from 8th to 14th July 2019 and whether you are a farmer, a gardener or a manager of urban or amenity spaces, there is something you can do to help support our valuable insect pollinators.

There are five simple actions you can take to help pollinators and make sure their populations are sustained:

  1. Grow more flowers, shrubs and trees – our mature and exotic plants give long flowering periods for bees and insects.
  2. Let your garden grow wild – we have wildflower meadows located throughout our campuses to encourage biodiversity.
  3. Cut your grass less often – we ensure refuge strips are left uncut along campus watercourses to encourage wildlife.
  4. Don’t disturb insect nest and hibernation spots – we practise sympathetic maintenance regimes and have installed bug hotels and insect palaces throughout our campuses.
  5. Think carefully about whether to use pesticides – we use Integrated Pest Management to minimise the use of pesticides.

Wildflowers Trial – Reed Hall Beds

We are trialling a crop of summer flowering wildflowers at Reed Hall beds this year.

We have had to change the planting scheme and rest the beds this year, as we have had confirmation of a soil borne fungus disease.

We hope you enjoy these colourful wildflowers and we aim to reintroduce the traditional display of spring and summer bedding next year.

Wildflowers at Reed Hall beds July 2019

Wildflowers at Reed Hall beds July 2019

Wildflowers at Reed Hall beds July 2019

Wildflowers at Reed Hall beds July 2019

 

 

Green fingers crossed for Anthony!

Good luck to Anthony Cockell, our amazing Deputy Grounds Operations Manager, who has been shortlisted in the Impact category of the Professional Services Recognition Awards 2019.

The Impact Award recognises a colleague or team who has made the exceptional happen, requires disruptive thinking, fresh ways of working and solutions with impact.

Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony tonight. Good luck Anthony; we have our green fingers crossed for you!

Anthony Cockell, Deputy Grounds Operations Manager

Discovery of rare and unusual tropical plant growing on campus!

Groundbreaking news!

We have discovered this rare and unusual tropical plant growing on Streatham Campus! It is an Dracunculus vulgaris (voodoo lily) which can normally only be seen growing in glasshouses!

It is native to North East India and the Himalayan region and the much branch umbrella like foliage is held aloft on a single long speckled stalk.

Dracunculus vulgaris growing on Streatham Campus

Interesting patterned stalk of the Dracunculus vulgaris 

Celebrating 90 Years Service!

This month three members of the Grounds Team celebrate a combined 90 years working at the University.

Colin Hole achieved 20 years service, Andy Pulman achieved 30 years service and Peter Greenwood achieved 40 years service.

Peter also received a long service medal and certificate from the RHS in honour of his 40 years working in the horticulture industry.

Congratulations to them all for this wonderful and rare achievement.

Andy Pulman (left), Director of Grounds Iain Park (centre) and Peter Greenwood (right)

Peter Greenwood receiving his 40 years long service certificate

Peter Greenwood proudly showing his RHS long service medal

Andy Pulman receiving his 30 years long service certificate

The Grounds Team’s celebration event for Peter Greenwood, Andy Pulman and Colin Hole (not pictured)

 

 

 

Step This Way! Upgraded Public Right of Way Footpath

Working in partnership with Devon County Council, the University has upgraded the public right of way footpath through the Lowern Hoopern and Taddiforde Valley that connects the Prince of Wales Road with the cycle path on the opposite side of the valley.

Below are the before works, during works and completed works photos – what a difference!

Before works

During works; nearly there!

Works completed – what a difference!