Exeter in Bloom 2018 Silver Gilt Award

We are delighted to announce that Exeter in Bloom received a Silver Gilt Award in the South West Tourism Cup category of the 2018 Britain in Bloom. The University is a key partner in Exeter’s application and David Evans, the Grounds Team’s Grounds and Sports Operations Manager, represented the University to receive the award at the Presentation Ceremony in Yeovil yesterday.

Receiving the Exeter in Bloom 2018 Award

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 www.inexeter.com and on the website of organisers, British Academy of Floral Art, at www.britishacademyoffloralart.com.

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.





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.

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

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 http://www.greenflagaward.org.uk/news/which-is-your-favourite-park/

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

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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

Jubilee Water Walk – Guided Tours 22nd & 29th November 2016

This is an opportunity to have a guided tour of the newly developed Jubilee Water Walk.  These walks will be led by the Arts and Culture Co-ordinator, Environment and Sustainability Adviser or the Grounds Team and will provide an insight into the waterways and water features on the Streatham Campus.

22nd November 2016 (Route B) – Art, History and Stories

29th November 2016 (Route B) – Biodiversity and Horticultural Highlights

12.15pm to 1.15pm, meet at the bottom of Stocker Road / Rennes Drive near the roundabout, point 8 on the map