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, one of the Covid Testing Co-ordinators, Deborah Custance-Baker, contacted the Grounds Team and kindly offered two of the testing sheds to be re-housed.

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!

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!

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.

Hoopern Valley County Wildlife Site – Volunteering Sessions

Thursday 25th May 2017 –  9.30am and 1.00pm (two sessions)

Come along and help out with the management of the Hoopern Valley County Wildlife Site (between Prince of Wales Road and the cycleway adjacent to Devon County Cricket Ground). Activities will include litter picking, weed control and cutting back vegetation, to address both wildlife and access issues.

Session 1 – 10.00am to 12.30pm (safety briefing at 9.30am)

Session 2 – 1.30pm to 4.00pm (safety briefing at 1.00pm)

All are welcome, although this is not suitable for children under 16. Please bring sensible footwear and clothing to participate. A safety briefing for participants will also be provided 30 minutes prior to the start of the session.

Please email the if you are interested in getting involved. The Team need prior notice in order to have the equipment and materials available prior to the event.

Hoopern Valley

 

Pond dipping at Reed Pond

We were very excited to hear the results of the pond dipping, arranged by Dr Clive Betts – Learning and Development Manager and expert entomologist!  He said:

Highlights include two huge cased caddises (and a number of smaller ones), some mature mayfly nymphs of three or more species, loads of copepods and daphnia, some large damselfly nymphs, a nymph of the red-darter dragonfly, a huge ramshorn snail, some lovely leeches (but not too many!), and Norman the Palmate Newt! The other headline is the massive decline in the previously dominant detritivore amphipods and isopods, a positive sign that the excessive allochthonous input prior to the pond works is under control… goes to show that a bit of well-judged management goes a long way.

 

Norman the Newt

Norman the Newt

Intrepid pond dippers

Intrepid pond dippers

Grounds team – working with the local community

Emily and Colin from the Grounds Team recently teamed up with the Exeter Community Police Cadets to improve a derelict area of ground which is to be given to the local community by Exeter Council.  The area, between Queen’s Crescent, York Road and Longbrook Street is being developed by the Exeter St. James Forum.

Our team assisted the Cadets in their task of clearing the walls of ivy.

Before

Before

During

During

After

After

The Cadets

The Cadets

Cadets - working hard

It’s important to always stay hydrated.