Students Staff

3 February 2016

Meet the Grounds team

Filed under: Campus news, People pages — Communications, CER @ 2:46 pm

Our Colchester Campus is home to more than 200 acres of spectacular parkland and we are privileged to spend so much time among its flora and fauna.

But it doesn’t look this fantastic by chance; on the contrary our dedicated Grounds team are working tirelessly all year round to keep the jewel that surrounds us looking as green and gorgeous as possible.

Over the last six years they’ve put in a fantastic amount of work to transform our sports pitches into the high quality facilities we have today.

That’s why we’d like you to nominate them for the Institute of Groundmanship Independent Schools / University Sports Grounds Team of the Year.

Nominate them now, using the following details:

  • University of Essex
  • Rob Davey
  • Essex
  • 01206 874380
  • robertd@essex.ac.uk

Here we hear from Rob Davey, Grounds Manager, about his work.

You can see photos of Rob and the team at work on flickr.

  • How many people do you have in your team and what is the main responsibility of the Grounds Section team?
Meet the Grounds team. Left to right: Marcus Clayton, Graham Kerridge, Barrie Morris, Natalie Butler, Karl Ravenhill, Sarah Manning, Ron Wyatt, Rob Davey, Graham Kemp

Meet the Grounds team. Left to right: Marcus Clayton, Graham Kerridge, Barrie Morris, Natalie Butler, Karl Ravenhill, Sarah Manning, Ron Wyatt, Rob Davey, Graham Kemp

There are ten of us in the team and our job is to maintain and enhance the 230 acre parkland at Wivenhoe Park, including the 30 acres of sports pitches.

  • What’s the project you’re all most proud of?

The preparing and planting in the Courtyard at Rowhedge (South Courts).

  • Tell us something about your team that we might not know, or which might surprise us
Our parkland is home to a range of wildlife including waterfowl on our lakes.

Our parkland is home to a range of wildlife including waterfowl on our lakes.

We are a varied bunch, with various qualifications and experience within the team, from a BSc in Horticulture, Master’s Degree in Linguistics and specialist joiner to a DJ, Ex Warrant Officer Class 2 with 22 years’ Service in the Airborne Forces. A couple of the team have even been on a BBC TV gardening series and Geordie Shores.

  • If you could build or change one thing at the University, what would it be?
One of the cork oaks at Wivenhoe House. General Rebow returned from the Peninsula Wars with two cuttings in his boot. The two trees now stand tall in the grounds of Wivenhoe House.

One of the cork oaks at Wivenhoe House. General Rebow returned from the Peninsula Wars with two cuttings in his boot. The two trees now stand tall in the grounds of Wivenhoe House.

Fewer buildings and more formal bedding areas.

  • What is your favourite plant?
  • In your own garden Corkscrew Hazel.
  • At the University Cork Oak Tree.
  • Do you change the planting with the seasons?

We change the bedding scheme in Square 5, Square 2 and at the Teaching Centre usually three to four times per year.

  • Do you have to take the wildlife into account?

Yes always as our campus has it in abundance.

  • What projects will you be starting in 2016?

Formal bedding schemes on the Squares, planting to the Constable Building bed and more planting at South Courts.

  • Where’s your favourite place on campus?

The North part of Colchester Campus. This area of the park has seen the least development and it’s like going back in time.

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