Grounds scenery 218

Contact the grounds team on:

01392 725531

About us

The University of Exeter’s Streatham and St Luke’s Campuses are acknowledged as the most beautiful and botanically interesting of any UK University. Streatham Campus is described by The Times as the ‘best-gardened campus in Britain’ and by The Independent as having a ‘sublime’ setting.

The Streatham Campus is a registered botanic garden and both campuses display examples of the University’s National Collection of Azara (a South American evergreen shrub) and the second Collection of the popular garden plant, Heuchera.

The grounds also feature excellent sporting facilities and provide a fantastic environment for staff, students and visitors.


The original planting on campus dates back to the 19th century, when the grounds of Reed (then Streatham) Hall were laid by the Veitch family of nurserymen, with funds provided by East India Merchant, Richard Thornton West. The planting around Reed Hall still features trees and plants collected by the Lobb brothers and E H Wilson, forming part of a magnificent arboretum.

This style and quality of planting has inspired the development of both campuses. Since the University was granted its Charter in 1955, when most of the estate was fields, successive Grounds Managers and horticultural staff have exploited the wonderful micro-climates which the buildings and natural undulations create, to grow rare, tender and exotic plants, continually enhancing campus collections and improving the biodiversity and resources for learning and enjoyment.

Today there are a team of 31 staff who work on the grounds, nursery and outdoor sports facilities 365 days a year. The work of the grounds staff includes the care of Specialist Plant collections, Botanical specimen propagation, tree and arboricultural works, pot and bedding plant production;  football, hockey, rugby, lacrosse, cricket and tennis playing surface maintenance;  and award winning floral decoration works.

At the Recognition Awards in May 2011 the grounds team were awarded the 'Registrar and Deputy Chief Executives Award' for all their hard work in maintaining the campus to such high standards.

Archive documents

A number of articles have been written about the grounds over the years, which are archived below.  Please note that as the campuses have developed, trees and plants have been moved and as a result the documents below may not reflect the current situation.  If you have any specific questions relating to the grounds today please feel free to contact us.

Customer feedback

Wonderful resource excellently protected and cared for.

Delightful and valuable grounds. great to see they are so treasured and in safe hands. Thanks.