Our dedicated grounds maintenance teams care for our parks and gardens to keep our open spaces clean and green.
- 218 parks, gardens and open spaces
- Cemeteries at Seaton, Sidbury and Sidmouth, as well 10 closed churchyards that Streetscene maintain.
- Bowling greens at Sidmouth and Exmouth
- Football pitches at Withycombe and Sidford
We are responsible for the design, planting and maintenance of a wide variety of annual, herbaceous perennial and shrub beds and borders.
The plants our teams use are carefully selected and bought from a variety of quality local suppliers. Please do let us know if you have spotted a plant in our district that you would like to know more about.
Our continued intention is to select sustainable planting that will attract pollinators – bees and other insects – which, in turn, sustain East Devon’s birds and mammals.
We are transitioning away from the domination of annual bedding in favour of perennial plant species – alone or when combined – that have a longer seasonality, are perfectly suited to our environment and require less watering. Furthermore, we use plants to suit the different variety of local green spaces in East Devon, and focus on native and locally-sourced plants, which will help increase biodiversity, provide colour, year-round interest and a calming space for us all to enjoy, as well as supporting local businesses.
Trees are essential for life. Not only do they provide habitats for a wide variety of wildlife, act as carbon sinks to mitigate climate change, add ornamental value and heritage to our green spaces, they also provide links between the past, present and future.
We will continue to successfully manage our trees to increase our tree cover in our parks and gardens by planting fruit trees to develop community orchards, broadleaf trees to create small woodland areas, and British native hedging and specimen trees. We will also continue to select locally-grown and British native trees, where possible.
Our tree team are dedicated to monitoring and managing the trees that you see in our green spaces – some of which are many hundreds of years old – and this care and preservation helps to ensure East Devon remains a wonderful place to live, work, learn and relax.
We have been working with local groups and residents interested in planting trees where they live, and also offer the opportunity for you to plant a memorial tree for a loved one in one of our green spaces.
Trees in our urban and suburban environments play vital roles, which is highlighted in the Government’s Sustainable Development Strategy. Trees in our urban parks and gardens clean the air around them by filtering smoke, fumes and dust. They also act as sound to barriers to traffic, visual barriers to buildings, and a place for us to sit and relax.
Dog waste and fouling
Dog waste bins are emptied three times per week; Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. If however, you find a dog bin that is full, we would be very grateful if you could let us know by using the report a full bin form. Also, if you spot a damaged dog bin, please report this important issue to us using our report a broken dog bin form.
If you spot a full litter bin please report this using the report a full litter bin form. We can then arrange for it to be emptied as soon as possible. Also, if you see a damaged litter bin, please let us know using the report a broken litter bin form.
Please take care to use the correct recycling bins for your recyclable waste in parks and gardens. If bins designated for recycling are contaminated by non-recyclable waste, the contents cannot be recycled – which affects us all.
Grass is cut, on average, on a five-week cycle during the growing season. In more ornamental areas, such as in public gardens, this regime will be more frequent. Please note that grass cutting can be affected not only by poor weather conditions – such as prolonged rain, when mower blades cannot cut the grass – but also when environmental conditions favour excessive rates of grass growth, such as the combination of higher spring temperatures and quickly alternating sunny and rainy conditions.
In our large, open areas, ride-on mowers are used and the clippings are left scattered evenly on the grass surface to decompose naturally. Often, small, hand-held and pedestrian-controlled machines (e.g. mowers and strimmer's) are then used to cut any areas of grass that the larger machines cannot access, such as around trees or near to beds and borders. Please note that the change in cutting equipment may not necessarily be carried out on the same day.
In prominent ornamental areas, such as our Green Flag parks and gardens, the grass clippings are collected and disposed of for composting.
A number of different parks, verges and open spaces have been identified as suitable for wildlife improvement in our efforts to mitigate climate change and offset our carbon footprint, which allows a variety of grasses and annual/perennial wildflowers to grow between spring and late autumn – or even into winter. Please note that leaving the grass to grow long is not the result of forgetting to cut it or a strategy to save money. On the contrary, leaving grasses and wildflowers to grow naturally provides opportunities for a wide range of plant species to flourish, thereby supporting plant, insect and animal biodiversity by providing shelter, food and a place to breed.
We are very much aware that the look and feel of these natural areas may not be what you feel is the correct method of cultivation of the grass in an area in question due to the extreme formality that has been imposed upon the natural world for so long. It is understandable why perceptions are held in favour of such formality – but formal grass swards need irrigation, fertilisers, weed killers, moss killers, and so on. We cannot continue to manage grass swards as they were in the past due to the environmental damage resulting from such environments.
We have deliberately left the grasses and wildflowers unmown across the sites we have selected in our wildlife improvement initiatives to support nature by allowing natural environments to dominate.
Every extra m2 of wildflower meadow we can develop helps to redress former damage and re-establish pollinator numbers.
If you want to hold an event in one of our green spaces, please contact us.
Streetscene has 2 officers dedicated to improving our green spaces; a Parks & Open Spaces Improvement Officer and a Horticultural Technical Officer. The intention is to continually raise the standard of our green spaces.
Our intention is to invest in multifunctional equipment in the maintenance of formal and informal green spaces… watch this space.
Battery powered maintenance equipment
We have recently invested in a variety of battery powered equipment that our maintenance teams use in their daily efforts to maintain the high standards of our many parks and gardens, whilst eliminating the emission of fumes and the need to use petrol and oil. Additionally, we have invested in battery powered maintenance vehicles and fleet cars. This investment is not only financial – we are also investing in our future!