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

 

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.

Go Green Week – Monday 10th to Friday 14th February 2020

It’s Go Green Week from Monday 10th to Friday 14th February. The University and the Students’ Guild are teaming up with a range of student societies, the Grounds Team, academics and local community members to offer a range of events and activities to encourage people to think about environmental issues and support people to take positive environmental action in their own lives and communities.

Go Green Week events and programme:

Monday 10 – Waste & Recycling

  • Go Green in the Forum – 11:00-15:00 – Forum
  • Free hot drinks if you have a reusable cup – 11:00 – Forum
  • Nourish – zero-waste shop stand – 11:00-15:00 – Forum
  • Eco-brick stand – 11:00-15:00 – Forum
  • Litter pick – TBC

Tuesday 11 – Travel & Energy

  • Free bike safety checks – 10:30-14:30 – Great Hall Piazza
  • Bike maintenance workshops – 10:30-15:00 – Great Hall Piazza
  • Plant Sale – 09:00-14:00 – Cross Keys, St Luke’s
  • Bike security marking and equipment discounts – 11:00-15:00
  • Go Green in the Forum – 11:00-15:00 – Forum
  • Free hot drinks if you have a reusable cup – 11:00 – Forum
  • Student Switch Off Climate Change Quiz – 11:00-15:00 – Forum

Wednesday 12 – Wellbeing & Education

  • Free bike safety checks – Cross Keys – 10:30-14:30
  • Go Green in the Forum – 11:00-15:00 – Forum
  • Free hot drinks if you have a reusable cup – 11:00 – Forum
  • St. Luke’s Garden Open Sessions – 12:00-14:00 – South Cloisters
  • Tree Planting Session – 13:30 – Meet at Chapel Drive
  • Streatham Campus Community Garden open session – 15:00-17:00 – Community Garden

Thursday 13 – Biodiversity & Environment

  • Go Green in the Forum – 11:00-15:00 – Forum
  • Free hot drinks if you have a reusable cup – 11:00 – Forum
  • Grounds Guided Tour – 12:00-13:00 – Forum Piazza

Friday 14 – Food & Fashion

  • Go Green in the Forum – 11:00-15:00 – Forum
  • Free hot drinks if you have a reusable cup – 11:00 – Forum
  • Clothes swap event – 11:00-15:00 – Forum
  • Giki stand – 11:00-15:00 – Forum
  • Vegan food stall – 11:00-15:00 – Forum
  • Food & Fashion Q&A – 14:30-15:30 – Forum Seminar Room 03
  • Go Green Week finale – refreshments – 15:30-16:30 – Forum

You can also find out more about student-led projects, local groups and opportunities to get involved in at the Information Fair every day in The Forum http://www.exeter.ac.uk/sustainability/newsandevents/gogreenweek/

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.

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.

The Amazing Benefits of Trees!

The University of Exeter Streatham and St Luke’s Campuses, fields and woodland areas contain over 10,000 mature trees managed by the Grounds Team and we are keen to show the amazing benefits of these magnificent trees.

We recently undertook another i-tree survey of our trees, which converts measurements such as tree height, girth and canopy spread into an economic value of the natural benefits they provide.

Using some of the results from this updated survey, we have produced new wooden tree information signs which will replace the existing ones on campus.

Keep an eye out for these new signs which are displayed on trees around the grounds.

More birds on campus

This year’s campus winter bird survey saw a rise on the Streatham Campus of resident bird numbers with 32 species records.

We were pleased to see a Treecreeper recorded in the Lower Hoopern Valley and a Nuthatch is spotted among the Bullfinches regularly visiting the bird feeders outside Streatham Farm.

It looks like we have more birds on St Luke’s Campus and the area supports four red / amber listed species.

Numbers are still lower than we would like to sustain; we try to manage open spaces to provide useful habitats but do with any suggestions.

Nuthatch

Treecreeper

Bullfinch

Birds making the most of the bird feeders outside Streatham Farm in harsh weather conditions

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.”