Pumpkins!

Wow what beauties………………

We are very proud of these pumpkins we have grown on campus as a green initiative trial to help with weed control at our green waste site.

Not only has the trial been successful, but we can now have a pumpkin carving competition for Halloween!

 

 

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)

 

 

 

Tree-mendous Benefits from our Campus Ecosystem

A recent tree survey by the University has found that our mature trees have an annual economic value of over £46k.

The survey, which took place in 2018 as part of our ongoing tree management programme, recorded the mature trees (5,274 trees) across our campuses and found that University trees remove over 2 tonnes of pollutants each year and store over 3,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Our trees also divert 5,460 cubic metres of storm water run-off away from local sewer systems annually, which is worth over £8k each year.

The value of these benefits is used to calculate an economic value, which can be used to inform local management decisions and help optimise biodiversity as well as allowing us to improve our economic sustainability and reduce the University’s carbon footprint.

The overall economic value of our trees is £46,123 which is a significant rise from the previous survey in 2009 of £20,874.

The total replacement value of our trees currently stands at over £10.5 million.

Iain Park, the Director of Grounds, said “we are the custodians of a unique asset on our Exeter campuses. Not only do we have one of the widest ranges of tree species of any UK University with the largest number of Champion Trees, the survey confirms that they have a proven environmental and economic benefit.

The grounds offer our students and staff recognised positive impacts on health and wellbeing, which we share with the wider community by granting permitted access to our sites. In addition, our 153Ha estate has a positive impact on the biodiversity, habitat and environment of the City and wider South West region.

The Grounds Team work hard to continue to preserve and enhance this award winning asset as part of their ongoing custodianship of historic and new landscapes in their care.”