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Community group wins award for greening up its backyard

Published: 30 November 2022

Community group wins award for greening up its backyard Devonshire Place Residents Association (DPRA)

Community groups and individuals across Exeter are doing their bit to keep Exeter looking so good with trees and green spaces to enjoy.

It’s National Tree Week and only last week Exeter was named the leading city in the UK for green spaces and tree canopy cover in its city centre, ahead of 67 other cities.

The City Council is committed to maintaining and enhancing its green spaces across Exeter, as well as planting thousands of trees, but it also needs help from others.

That’s where community groups and individuals can play a significant part in ensuring the city’s tree canopy cover continues to pip other cities over the coming years.

One such group is the Devonshire Place Residents Association (DPRA), who has developed a perfectly peaceful green idyll in the heart of the city.

Since 2011 the DPRA has breathed life and care back into a run down and overgrown orchard on their doorstep.

Volunteers working closely with Exeter City Council have replenished the orchard with over thirty new trees. Paths and hedges have been restored, biodiversity has increased substantially, lovely new benches have been installed for people to sit and enjoy the space and new play equipment installed.

Just recently the Devonshire Place Orchard Regeneration Project was recognised with a Royal Horticultural Society South West in Bloom ‘Outstanding’ award.

Susie Bower of the DPRA said: “It is thanks to our residents that the community has this lovely peaceful place, used by a diverse groups of people.”

On the RHA award, Susie added: “This is due to all the commitment and hard work by all of us but in particular by the person at the centre of it all who does a massive amount of behind the scenes work, such as research, liaising with the Council, talking to designers, sign makers etc. - our lynchpin, Blanche.”

Congratulations to the DPRA and their award. It’s great that groups like the DPRA are playing their part in helping Exeter protect its green open spaces and tree canopy cover.

National Tree Week is the UK’s largest annual tree celebration, marking the start of the winter tree planting season (November to March each year). This year it takes place from Sunday 27 November to Monday 5 December. Further information about national events can be found on the Tree Council website National Tree Week - join the UK's largest tree celebration (

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