Green Flag Award 2022-23 Winner!

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

We have successfully retained this award for the twelfth consecutive year for Streatham Campus and for the tenth consecutive year for 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 using their extensive skills and experience to nurture 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.

University of Exeter campuses re-awarded the coveted Green Flag Award

The University of Exeter’s grounds across three campuses have been ranked among the best parks and green spaces in the country.

The gardens and grounds at the University’s Streatham, St. Luke’s and Penryn campuses are some of the record number of parks and green spaces receiving the Green Flag Award this year as they are recognised as the most beautiful and botanically interesting of any UK university.

The Exeter campuses manage a mature tree stock of around 10,000 trees along with an arboretum, Italianate garden, magnolia lawn, cherry orchards and a national collection of Azara. While it’s Penryn campus, shared by Falmouth University and the University of Exeter, Cornwall includes herbaceous beds, sub-tropical planting, a fruit producing orchard, an 18th Century lime avenue and a drive with Pinetum native woodlands and historic rare rhododendrons which were cultivated on the site in the Victorian era. All three of the University’s grounds also feature high-quality sporting facilities for students, staff and visitors.

A committed team works on the grounds and outdoor sports facilities, 365 days a year. The work of the grounds staff includes the care of specialist plant collections, botanical specimen propagation, pot and bedding plant production, sports playing surface maintenance and award-winning floral decoration works.

University of Exeter’s Head of Ground and Operations, David Evans, said: ‘’We are delighted to have secured this honour once again.

‘’We always put sustainability at the core of everything we do and work closely with our colleagues and students to ensure that the grounds are maintained in as environmentally friendly a manner as possible.’’

Oliver Lane, FX Plus Director of Residences and Facilities in Cornwall, said: “We are delighted to have retained this award for a sixth year. It highlights the hard work of our teams and volunteers – both students and staff. Particular thanks should go to Toby Nenning, Grounds and Gardens manager, and Casey Thomas, Head of Facilities Management, and to their teams.

“Both Falmouth University and the University of Exeter are dedicated to sustainability under their Climate Emergency declarations and a key part of this involves supporting green spaces and the biodiversity on our beautiful campus.”

Professor Lisa Roberts, the University of Exeter’s Vice-Chancellor said: ‘’Our stunning grounds are an essential part of what is so special about our university. Our talented grounds team works extremely hard to keep the estate beautiful and accessible while also creating habitats that protect wildlife and the environment. Our beautiful surroundings contribute significantly to the wellbeing of our staff and students and we take great pride in the fact they are as much a home for wildlife as they are for us.

‘’We are proud to have been given the Green Flag award, thanks to the hard work of dedicated colleagues like those in our grounds management team.’’

Keep Britain Tidy’s Accreditation Manager Paul Todd said: “I would like to congratulate everyone involved in making the University of Exeter campuses worthy of a Green Flag Award. It is testament to all the hard work of staff who do so much to ensure that they maintain the high standards demanded by the Award.”

The Green Flag Award scheme, managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for the management of green spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world.

A full list of Green Flag Award-winning parks and green spaces is available here

 

 

Covid Testing Sheds Upcycled to Community Gardens

Throughout the pandemic the University sited an outdoor Covid testing centre on Streatham Campus and now that this centre has been disbanded, the Covid Testing Centre Manager, Deborah Custance-Baker, contacted the Grounds Team and kindly offered two of the testing sheds to be re-housed.

Deborah said “During the pandemic, the Covid Rapid Response Team took over the Sports Hall and ran a drive-through testing centre at Car Park B, which we used the sheds for. The testing officially ended at the end of early June 2022. We had found it difficult to rehome equipment from the the project as there was such a mass of it all. Now Covid is coming to and end, it is great to find a benefit of these sheds for the local communities”.

Our Horticultural and Operations Manager, Anthony Cockell, made some enquiries within the local communities and found two new homes for these sheds – Exeter St Thomas Community Garden and the Refugee Support Devon Community Allotment.

Anthony, along with two members of the Grounds Team – Sam Whitehorne and Leo Brooke, used their University annual volunteering community day to work together and deliver these sheds to their new horticultural homes.

This is a great sustainable and community initiative and we are delighted to be able to support these local communities.

The pandemic highlighted the importance of outdoor space, the benefits of nature and gardening and how it increases wellbeing and mental and physical health. So it seems fitting that equipment used for the pandemic can now be used for community allotments and gardens.

Thank you to everyone involved with this project; your generosity and hard work will benefit many!

Loading the sheds

Loading the sheds

Loading the sheds

Delivering the shed to the Refugee Support Devon Community Allotment

Shed delivered – great job everyone!

Tree-mendous News – more than £16,000 raised for local charity Hospiscare!

We are delighted to announce that we have helped raise more than £16,000 (with gift aid still to be added) for the local charity Hospiscare by supporting their Christmas Tree Recycling Campaign.

1,200 trees were collected by volunteers from homes across Exeter, Exmouth and Honiton and brought to the green waste site on our Streatham Campus.

The trees were then chipped by our Grounds Team and agricultural students from Bicton College.

A Jensen chipper was kindly lent to us by Elm Star, a local company in Newton Abbot, who also instructed the students on how to operate the chipper.

The chippings will be applied on the grounds around campus and also used to improve a local public right of way path.

We would like to say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who was involved in the collaborative community campaign raising funds for the very worthwhile local charity Hospiscare. You are absolute stars!

Laura Robertson, Hospiscare Fundraising Projects Manager said “the money raised could fund 22 in-patient beds for a whole 24 hours. During what is a particularly difficult time for Hospiscare financially, this total really will help considerably and will contribute to ensuring we are here for local people living with terminal illness and their families long into the future”.

Just some of the 1,200 trees to be shredded!

Getting ready to start

Here we go!

Jensen chipper kindly lent by local company Elm Star

Working hard

Chipping in action

Operating the chipper

Bicton College students doing a fantastic job

Nearly finished!

Recycle your Christmas Tree and raise funds for Hospiscare (its a win win!)

We are delighted to be supporting Hospiscare’s Christmas Tree Recycling scheme again this year.

In return for a donation to Hospiscare, volunteers will collect your Christmas tree from your home on 7th or 8th January. The trees will be brought to the University’s Streatham Campus where our Grounds Team staff and Bicton College students will shred them. It is hoped the clippings will be used to improve public right of way footpaths.

Trees can be collected from postcodes EX1, EX2, EX3, EX4, EX8, EX14 1, EX14 2 and EX14 3.

Registration closes on 3rd January. For more information and to register visit https://www.hospiscare.co.uk/events/christmas-tree-recycling/.

Please note this service is for real Christmas trees only; artificial trees cannot be accepted.

Please sign up for this scheme and leave the effort of getting rid of your Christmas trees to Hospiscare. You will also be raising vital funds for this very worthwhile local charity.

Happy Christmas everyone!

Feelgood Friday – Positive Pebbles on Streatham Campus

Some positive and heart warming news for a Feelgood Friday!

Pebbles with positive supportive messages have appeared along a pavement at the bottom of Stocker Road on Streatham Campus.

What a lovely initiative and we hope they bring smiles to faces and help people feel less alone.

#bekind #bepositive

Go Green Week – Tree Planting – Lower Hoopern Valley

As part of Go Green Week 2020, the Grounds Team worked with volunteers from the Student Tree Charter on Wednesday 12th February to plant trees in the Lower Hoopern Valley which runs parallel to the Prince of Wales Road.

A variety of tree species were planted at the joint event including Betula pendula, Scots pine, Prunus spinosa, Alder, Nordmann Fir and Rosa canina.

Great job everyone!

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/

Tree-rific News – more than £9,000 raised for Hospiscare!

We are delighted to announce that we have helped raise more than £9,000 for Hospiscare by supporting their Christmas Tree Recycling Campaign.

814 trees were collected from residents in Devon and brought to our Streatham Campus.

Some of the 814 Christmas trees ready to be chipped

The trees were then chipped by our Grounds Team and agricultural students from Bicton College.

Chipping in action

 

One of the Grounds Team apprentices

All the chippings have been donated to the Avanti Hall School (previously the Steiner Academy) and will also help improve the local Public Rights of Way.

From trees to chippings!

Well done everyone!

We would like to say an extra special thank you to our Deputy Operations Manager, Anthony Cockell, who was instrumental in co-ordinating this very worthwhile project.

Richard from Hospiscare and Anthony Cockell, Deputy Grounds Operations Manager

Tree-mendous Christmas Tree-cycling for Hospiscare

The University is helping local charity, Hospiscare, to recycle Christmas trees and raise money to support terminally ill people and their families.

Hospiscare will be collecting trees around Exeter between 11 – 17 January and delivering them to the University’s Streatham Campus where they will be chipped by our Grounds Team.

Agricultural students from Bicton College will be on hand to support the activity and gain first-hand experience in the operation of a woodchipper.

The University will be donating all the chippings to the Avanti Hall School (previously the Steiner Academy) and to improve local Public Rights of Way.

Last year Hospiscare raised over £5,000 with the collection service and, with our support, they are hoping to double that in 2020. Their vans will be out again this January to collect trees for a £10 donation.

“We are very grateful to the University of Exeter for agreeing to dispose of the trees our volunteers will be collecting in January”, said Louise Beeken, Head of Fundraising at Hospiscare.

“This support means we can pick up twice as many trees as last year, and from a larger area, and all the money raised will help to fund our care of terminally ill patients across Exeter, Mid and East Devon. It’s great also that the chippings from the trees will be used in other projects the University are helping with, a win-win all round!”

Anthony Cockell, Deputy Grounds Operations Manager at the University of Exeter, said “The University Grounds Team feels privileged to support the service Hospiscare provide to our community in Devon. We will be helping recycling all materials from their Christmas tree collection recycling scheme.”

“I must thank Bill Johnston, Head of Machinery Imports, at T H White and the provision of his Jensen woodchippers for making this event possible. It has brought a great opportunity for Bicton College students who will join us on the day and broaden their industry experience. The finished chippings will be shared with Avanti Hall School for their play area, as well as for the public footpaths in Lower Hoopern Valley. It will be a great effort by all and I am very much looking forward to it.”

Successful Joint Community Litter Pick!

The University’s Grounds Team and the Student Community Wardens took part in a very successful joint community litter pick event with the St David’s Neighbourhood Partnership on Friday 29th March 2019, as part of the Keep Britain Tidy Great British Spring Clean.

We covered a large area of St David’s and collected around 20 bags of rubbish with some very interesting finds!

Thank you to everyone who took part.

All litter picked out! Tired but happy and proud of our hard work.