Wonford is an undefined area in the centre of Exeter covering parts of St Loyes and Heavitree. Originally, Wonford was a royal estate named after a stream (now called Mincinglake) that rose on the southern slopes of Stoke Hill and flowed through Northbrook Park. In 937, the name was wynford meaning fair stream. The land surrounding Exeter had been part of the Celtic kings estates from before the Roman occupation and in 7th century these lands continued to be a large royal estate of the Saxon Kings. These lands were gradually reduced in size, until the only remaining hunting ground remaining at the Norman invasion was Duryard, north of the city. Historically it was part of Wonford Hundred, as was Exeter itself.
Although St Michael’s Church in Heavitree is Victorian, it stands on the place of one of the oldest churches outside Exeter. The Wessex King Cenwealh, established a chapel at this position near the sacred head tree in Wonford in about 660. The area became known as Heavitree, and Wonford shrank as Heavitree grew.
Welcome to Wonford Urban Village
Wonford is in the centre of our neighbourhood, it stretches along Rifford road in one direction, along Burnthouse lane in another and up over the Hills into Ludwell valley as well.
We are very blessed to have large gardens and open spaces in this community and entering Britain in Bloom has given us the perfect start to celebrate our spaces by taking responsibility and enjoy making them tidier, greener and more beautiful.
Thank you for this opportunity, we have many stories to tell, excited to show you around and look forward to this as the first of many visits from Britain in Bloom
The seeds of a better future are being sown in our community!
1.30 Arrival at Old Post Office Meet & greet, CroP, TLC, Sue, Wasp Short presentation
1.50 Take car to Woodwater Allotments
1.55 Woodwater Allotments 15 minute visit
2.10 Take car to Wynstream School, passing the Methodist church 15 minute visit
2.25 Take car to WCLC carpark
2.35 Chestnut Nursery 20 mins for presentation of scarecrows and singing
2.55 children’s centre for refreshments and meet Jane CroP and involvement with children 20 mins break
3.15 Cars to St Pauls
3.20 Start at St Pauls, Vision of St Pauls, Walk to look at the work carried out by Crop, led by Jane through the lane
3.30 The Hut
3.40 Competition at Berry’s & Bouquet’s…..caterpillar trail
3.55 school planters back to the Old Post Office
4.15 Finish back at Old Post Office
Woodwater Academy Allotments
There has been a green team at the school for a long time but only in the last four or five years have we really established ourselves and produced green areas to be really proud of. Every September we choose our new green teamers and the interest from the children is always very enthusiastic. Our aims are to make the school environment look interesting and encourage the children to be proud of the school grounds. The aim for the future is to encourage the staff and children to use these areas and learn skills for life.
Wonford and St Paul’s and Wynstream School have been joining in with the preparations for SW in Bloom in July. Last week The Community Action Team (CATS) spent a couple of hours pruning one of the larger raised beds on Burnthouse Lane, the children worked really hard and the feedback from the community (and the lollipop man) has been fantastic. The bed not only looks a lot better but it’s safer to cross over to the shop as well. We are just one of the groups looking to make the most of Wonford, and we always welcome ideas and suggestions.
Wynstream School Allotments
Wynstream School have been supported by Andy Schiach , Community Youth Worker from the Wonford & St Pauls Project to develop their allotments.
We talked to the children about what they would like to grow in our garden. First they said we needed tidy it up because it was messy. The children really enjoyed getting all muddy and pulling the weeds out. We talked to the children about what could grow in the garden i.e. flowers, veg and herbs, and they decided they would like to grow carrots, lettuce, tomatoes and pretty flowers.
Taking part in Wonford in Bloom the children have really enjoyed having the responsibility of looking after the flowers and vegetables. They have been very busy watering them each day, singing to them and telling the plants stories to help them grow. Each day some of the children have been to tell the adults how the plant are growing and changing.
We are going to maintain the areas and use it as a natural resource to enhance the children’s learning. We will continue to use the herb garden once it is more established so the children can explore the area using their senses in natural environment.
Chestnut Nursery Scarecrow Workshop
Families with their children have enjoyed a Scare Crow Workshop to display and entertain the assessors in July, we hope you enjoy seeing their creations.
Chestnut Children’s Centre
The Families at Chestnut have had lots of fun digging and planting in the Community garden, they have planted a wide range of vegetables for the children to enjoy.
The planting and digging has run alongside the Fun creation play session with all the parents helping and supporting it.
The children have especially enjoyed the digging and worm finding!
Wonford Methodist Church
Following a course entitled Fresh Expressions, which was looking at doing Church differently, there was much discussion about the Church engaging with the community.
As a Church we run a Toddler Group, Youth Groups, Messy Church for families, Men’s Coffee Morning and Roundabout Café which are open to all – but there was a recognition that this involves the community coming in to us and that we need to consider going out into the community. There was also discussion about the building itself and particularly the fence around it not being very inviting and how we could Soften this barrier !
At the Wonford COGs meeting on 13th May we heard from Sue and Jane that Wonford was entering SW in Bloom. There were five Church members at the meeting plus the Minister (which was great in itself!) and all spread the word about the competition and how the Church might be involved.
A couple of groups decided they would like to take part and began planning and there was overwhelming support at our Church Council meeting in June.
Wonford Methodist Church Toddler Group
Toddlers and their parents/carers enjoyed weaving flowers and insects through the fence. These have had lots of positive comments from people walking past and on the buses.
Also individuals have put up hanging baskets and brought in pots/planters
Wonford entering SW in Bloom has turned talk into action by giving us a focus/timescale to start changing our environment and to engage in a visible way with our community.
Both of these will continue after the visit of the judges and we are already looking forward to playing an active part in the Community Fete on September 12th
The girls sowed sunflower seeds when looking at the parable of the Sower and watched the progress of the seeds in various places over future weeks. Also grew sunflowers to sell at their summer fete.
CroP asked for help with their bunting and so a community bunting workshop was hosted by Girls Brigade – we all worked together to make bunting for CroP, for the Church and for Girls Brigade.
Hungry Caterpillar Trail
We ran a competition to run alongside our entry this year. This is the entry form we used.
As a community we would like to thank our partners who have helped make this journey possible.
We have had assistance from some business’ in the Lane, Exeter City Council for picking up the debris we have created.
Tesco for supporting our litter pick, business’ who have supported the individual groups, St Pauls church for the fabulous Bar-B-Q and of course not least all of our lovely volunteers, groups and organisations who have worked so hard to make this all possible
Without you none of this would have happened, be proud
Greener streets, better lives
Additional Photos from Wonford In Bloom 2015
The Celebration Event