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About us and the work we do

What we do

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).

The area of the University's estates totals 153 hectares:  Streatham Campus covers 114 hectares, St Luke's covers 8 hectares while our sports pitches cover 41 hectares, at our Topsham Sports Ground and at Duckes Meadow, by the River Exe.

A team of 37 staff, including apprentices work on the grounds, nursery and outdoor sports facilities throughout the 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
  • preparing, planting and maintaining plant beds across campus
  • indoor plants maintenance service
  • litter management across campus
  • ensuring roads and major pedestrian areas are gritted when necessary over the winter months.

We are responsible for the upkeep of all of the grounds various outdoor environments - ponds and watercourses, a cherry orchard, wildflower meadows and the wooded areas of the Taddiforde/Hoopern Valley.  We take care to protect the biodiversity of the campus.

Our team of arborists look after the 10,000 trees on campus, ensuring the trees are safe, healthy and well maintained.  We also have one of only a handful of Picus scanners in Devon.  This system takes a non-invasive scan of a cross-section of the trunk of the tree and detects areas of decay and damage which are often impossible to see from the outside.