RoSPA Best New Entry UK Winner

We are delighted to announce that the University of Exeter’s Grounds Team is the RoSPA Best New Entry UK winner!

This is in addition to the RoSPA Health & Safety Gold Award that we have won.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents is a recognised world wide industry leader in health and safety excellence.

These awards recognise the systems and processes we have in place to protect our staff working in areas of potential high risk and that we ensure all our staff understand how to keep themselves and others safe.

Mindfulness and Family Activities

It has been proven that mindfulness provides numerous health benefits, enabling you to relax, forget your worries and focus on the present.

We have created a series of mindfulness colouring pages depicting University of Exeter campus locations, as well as several wildlife images, to help enhance and boost your wellbeing.

They are also great fun for children!

Please feel free to download them and enjoy.

Colouring Page – University of Exeter Plaque

Download Colouring Page – University of Exeter Plaque

Colouring Page – St Luke’s Campus

Download Colouring Page – St Luke’s Campus

Colouring Page – Bird

Download Colouring Page – Bird

Colouring Page – Washington Singer Building

Download Colouring Page – Washington Singer Building

Colouring Page – Exeter Word

Download Colouring Page – Exeter Word

Colouring Page – Butterfly

Download Colouring Page – Butterfly

Colouring Page – Sculpture

Download Colouring Page – Sculpture

Colouring Page – Northcote House Clock Tower

Download Colouring Page – Northcote House Clock Tower

Hedgehog Awareness Week – 3rd to 9th May 2020

It’s Hedgehog Awareness Week, so we thought it would be a good time to highlight the problems hedgehogs face and how you can help them, especially as we are spending more time in our gardens at the moment.

There are many simple things we can all do to help hedgehogs:

  • Create a log pile that will offer shelter and food.
  • Cover drains or deep holes.
  • Avoid using pesticides and slug pellets in your garden, not only can these harm hedgehogs but also damage their food chain. Use organic methods instead.
  • Make sure hedgehogs have easy access to your garden. Ensure boundary fences or walls have a 13cm x 13cm gap in the bottom to allow hedgehogs to pass through.
  • Keep a corner of your garden wild to offer shelter, protection and natural food for hedgehogs and other wildlife.
  • Encourage hedgehogs into your garden, but you should never just move one in from another area, as it may well have a nest of dependent young that you would be condemning to death.
  • Provide a shallow dish of fresh water for all wildlife, and food such as hedgehog food, meaty cat or dog food or cat biscuits for hedgehogs, especially during long dry spells.
  • Make or buy a hedgehog home (see plans), this offers a hibernation site safe from predators in the winter. It may also be used as a nesting box for a mother and her hoglets in the warmer months.
  • Check areas thoroughly for hedgehogs and other wildlife before strimming or mowing.
  • Keep pea netting 22-30cms (9 – 12”) off the ground so hedgehogs can pass under
    and plants will grow to the netting.
  • Dispose of litter responsibly. Every year hedgehogs are injured by litter and starve to death by getting trapped in discarded rubbish.
  • Bonfires offer a tempting home for a hedgehog. Ideally collected materials should be re-sited just before the fire is to be lit, if this is not possible, the base should be lifted up with poles or broom handles (not a fork!) and a torch shone in to look for any wildlife or pets in need of rescue before lighting.
  • Hedgehogs are good swimmers but can become trapped in ponds or pools with
    sheer sides. Keep water levels topped up, provide a gently sloping edge if possible or place half submerged rocks in the water as an escape for them.
  • Finally, take care on the roads, hedgehogs are nocturnal so are often seen out at
    night. A hedgehog’s natural defence mechanism is to roll into a ball – this is no
    match for a motor vehicle.

British Hedgehog Preservation Society Chief Executive, Fay Vass, said 
“Our gardens take up such a lot of habitat, and by getting together with neighbours to ensure hedgehogs have access points and hedgehog friendly features in the garden, we can open up a really useful amount of habitat for them.  You could become a Hedgehog Champion for your area at Hedgehog Street – a project run by BHPS and our partners People’s Trust for Endangered Species.  Join 70,000 Champions by signing up at www.hedgehogstreet.org – there’s even a Hedgehog Street app you can download from The App Store or Google Play!”

 

Winter Bird Survey Highlights

The results of the winter bird survey carried out by an independent consultant on our campuses have been received and we wanted to share the highlights:

Streatham Campus recorded its highest number of birds on campus since 2013/14 with 1,392 birds.

This represented 36 different bird species, 24% of which are listed on the the RSPB Red/Amber List; suggesting that the campus continues to be an important habitat for threatened species including the Grey Wagtail, Thrush, Sparrow and Redwing.

Grey Wagtail

Thrush

Sparrow

Redwing

St Luke’s Campus, although smaller than Streatham Campus, recorded 290 birds; up from the 2013/14 baseline of 236 birds and continuing an upward trent.

Out of the 19 species recorded, 6 species are listed on the RSPB Red/Amber List including the Starling which had not been recorded at Streatham Campus.

Starling

It’s great to see that the work of the Grounds Team, to manage the environment and use maintenance techniques that consider and promote biodiversity and habitat conservation, continues to deliver positive benefits for wildlife.

RoSPA Health & Safety Gold Award Winner!

We are delighted to announce that the University of Exeter’s Grounds Team have been awarded the RoSPA Health & Safety Gold Award!

RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) is a recognised world wide industry leader in health and safety excellence and advice.

The Gold Award recognises the efforts made to have systems and processes in place that protect staff working in areas of potential high risk and an understanding across all the members of the Grounds Team to keep themselves and others safe.

This fantastic achievement was the result of a year’s work and a group effort involving the Grounds Team and the Health and Safety Team at the University of Exeter.

It is excellent recognition for the effort David Evans from the Grounds Team and Ian Stone from the Health and Safety Team put in to compiling and submitting the application to RoSPA.

New Environmental Foamstream System

The University’s Grounds Team have purchased a new piece of equipment with the environment in mind. The water based foamstream system deals with moss, algae and weeds without the use of chemicals.

It is proving particularly useful in the historic listed landscape of Reed Hall as there is no risk of damaging the stonework.

The photos below show some of our staff using the new foamstream equipment and the difference achieved in the treated areas.

Grounds staff using the new foamstream equipment

Reed Hall gardens – before the foamstream application

Reed Hall gardens – after the foamstream application

Reed Hall stonework – before the foamstream application

Reed Hall stonework – after the foamstream application

 

Squirrel Research on Campus

New research suggests that ambidextrous squirrels learn more quickly than those that strongly favour their left/right.

Dr Lisa Leaver, a behavioural ecologist at the University of Exeter, has been carrying out research on squirrels on Streatham Campus and explains more about the study https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzkbOlREh68

Squirrel research being carried out on Streatham Campus

 

Reed Pond Island Works

We have been busy clearing and thinning the vegetation on the island at Reed Pond – before, during and after works photos.

Reed Pond island – before thinning and clearing works

Clearing and thinning vegetation on the Reed Pond island, with the use of our boat!

Reed Pond island – after thinning and clearing works

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Mothers Day on Sunday 22nd March – order a beautiful bouquet for your wonderful Mum

Don’t forget it’s Mothers Day on Sunday 22nd March!

Make it extra special for your Mum this year and give her a fabulous bouquet of flowers handmade by the talented florists in the Grounds Team, using purely British grown flowers from our local supplier and foliage from our own campus.

The artisan bouquet will contain carefully selected flowers in a range of colours and will be presented in an aqua pac inside a bouquet box, with a card carrying the message of your choice.

It’s a wonderful way of letting your Mum know how special she is and to thank her for all she does.

Delivery to a workplace address on Streatham Campus or St Luke’s Campus on Friday 20th March; for a special price of £28.99.

Orders to be placed via the online store.

Don’t leave your good intentions too late; the last date we can accept orders is 12 noon on Monday 16th March.

 

 

Creative Upcycling – Bird Boxes, Bat Boxes and Bug Hotels

Our Grounds Sports Team based at Topsham Sports Ground have been busy making bird boxes and bat boxes from spare wooden palettes. These have been put up around the grounds in time for the bird nesting season and the excess ones will be sold at our plant sales.

Bird and bat boxes upcycled from wooden pallets

If that wasn’t impressive enough, the Grounds Sports Team have also created a bug hotel upcycled from a tree that fell during the recent storms.

Bug hotel upcycled from a fallen tree

What fantastic sustainability initiatives, well done to all our creative Grounds Sports Team.