Meet the team
David Evans - Head of Grounds Operations
David joined the University in 2013 and is responsible for managing the Grounds Sports Team and directly line managing the Grounds Management Team. His role also includes ensuring resources are adequately managed, finding ways of driving efficiency and increasing standards and ensuring compliance with health and safety legislation and sustainability targets.
David originally worked in agriculture - he has also worked in sales and customer service management. Prior to starting at the University he worked as a head groundsman on a military establishment for 12 years.
He studied for a First Diploma in Land-Based Industries and a National Diploma in Agriculture at Reaseheath College in Cheshire. He gained a Higher National Diploma in Agriculture from Seale Hayne College in Newton Abbot and an RHS General, Advanced Certificate and Diploma at Bicton College. He has also been awarded a Foundation Degree in Horticultural Science from Bicton College.
In 2017 David attained a Level 4 Diploma in Arboriculture.
Phone: 01392 722682/07785 554449
Anthony Cockell - Horticultural and Operations Manager
Anthony joined the Grounds Team as the Deputy Grounds Operations Manager on 30th April 2018 and was promoted to Horticultural and Operations Manager in March 2022. His role, alongside planning the structure of amenity maintenance at the University, is to bolster the significant landsape and plant collections through supporting staff in applying best horticultural practice.
Anthony has relished gaining his horticultural experience through a diversity of employers across the industry; the public sector at Westonbirt Arboretum, a grounds maintenance private sector contractor for the military, horticulturalist for the National Trust in the charity sector and most recently Head Gardener for the horticulture and land based Wiltshire College Lackham in the education sector.
He is delighted to be a part of the dedicated and experienced Grounds Team in such an inspirational environment.
Phone: 07825 317044
Ross Chalmers - Grounds Sports Manager
Ross started his grounds career in 2006 when he gained his qualications in forestry and tree surgery, which led him to start his own business which he ran for 8 years.
Looking for a change in direction, he joined the University of Exeter's Grounds and Sports Team in 2014 as a Sports Groundsperson maintaining the sports pitches at the Topsham Sports Ground and Duckes Meadow Sports Ground.
In 2015 Ross was heavily involved in preparing and maintaining the pitches to an exceptional standard when we hosted the Rugby World Cup practice sessions at Topsham Sports Ground.
He has a real passion for the detail and presentation aspect of the pitch maintenance work which he loves. He enjoys the build up to game day where the Grounds Sports Team work hard to produce the best playing surfaces for the students - to see a win is always a bonus!
In March 2018 Ross was promoted to Grounds Sports Manager, based at Topsham Sports Ground. He is thrilled to embrace this opportunity to improve and develop the University's sports grounds into the future.
Ross manages a team of 5 sports groundspersons covering Topsham Sports Ground, Duckes Meadow Sports Ground and the Sports Park on Streatham Campus.
Phone: 07826 876646
Alex Adams - Arboriculture Manager
Alex moved to the South West in 2012 from Guernsey in the Channel Islands.
Having first qualified as a motorcycle mechanic, he retrained as an arborist before moving to Exeter and finding employment in various sectors of the arboricultural industry - commercial utility, forestry and private sectors - gaining over ten years experience in the industry.
Alex has worked as an arborist at the University of Exeter since 2018 and was promoted to Arboriculture Manager in 2021.
He takes great pride in being in a position to give our wide and diverse tree collection the ongoing care they require and deserve.
Phone: 07825 957330
Jess Evans - Nursery and Assistant Horticultural Manager
Jess joined the University's Grounds Team in October 2022 and is responsible for plant propagation and the Grounds nursery operational services.
Jess has a wealth of horticultural knowledge and experience and is a very welcome addition to the Grounds Team.
She started her career in horticulture, when she was 18 years old, working in a private garden in Devon and then took up a trainee poisition at Kew Gardens and went on to succesfully achieve the Kew dipoloma.
After working at Merton College at Oxford University, Jess then worked for Monty Don at Longmeadow in Herefordshire for two years.
Jess moved on to manage the gardens at the National Trust's Tintinhull Gardens in Yeovil, Somerset for four years and then took on the role as the Head Gardener at the National Trust's Knightshayes in Tiverton, Devon for six years.
Vikki Price - Grounds Administrator
Vikki joined the University in 1993 and during her time at the University has worked within a variety of PA, secretarial and administrative roles within University departments - Campus Services Director's Office, Training, Parking, Transport and now Grounds.
Vikki has been the Administrator for the Grounds Team since 2010 and provides high level administrative, programme and organisational support to the team.
Phone: 01392 725531