A new project is underway across the University as part of Exeter’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
The Diamond Waterways project focuses on the various water bodies and features throughout Streatham Campus, and aims to enhance and promote biodiversity and establish a mechanism for students, staff and visitors to connect with the natural environment and enhance personal wellbeing.
Particular emphasis is being placed upon the Higher Hoopern Valley Waterway, which is set to be renamed “The Diamond Waterway”, and will part of a collaborative initiative bringing together academic colleagues, students, the Students’ Guild, and members of the Culture, Grounds, Wellbeing, and Sustainability teams.
In a public statement, Karen Gallagher, the University’s Environment and Sustainability Adviser spoke of how: “this fantastic project provides a range of practical opportunities for students to get involved and make a difference to our natural environment. We are looking to create interesting and inspiring places for our University community to explore, whilst improving biodiversity and creating a legacy for future users of the campus to enjoy.”
The Diamond Waterway will undergo a series of significant enhancements, including a canopy reduction, vegetation clearance from the ponds and streams, and an assessment of the waterway’s health both before and after the works.
Students will be able to develop practical skills in water surveys, whilst following the natural rhythms of the seasonal calendar, which will be informed through academic research activities and evidence. It is hoped that the project will reopen a number of waterways and provide the local environment with enhanced oxygenation and flow.
A Jubilee Water Walk has also been created to help students, staff, alumni, and visitors rediscover the natural range of water features on Streatham Campus, which are largely overlooked. The initiative was organised following work carried out by the University’s student-led Green Consultants.
A new programme that focuses on mindfulness activities and wellbeing performances will be developed in order to allow individuals to respond sensitively to the natural environment, and its importance to their mental health and wellbeing at University