University of Exeter

Project to help people make sustainable clothes choices

BBC Spotlight

Exeter University is running a new project which aims to encourage people to be more sustainable when choosing their clothes.


Volunteers have spent the year learning how to make clothes and mend and recycle old garments.

They have even been taught how to make their own fabric and wool.

How you can help medical science with hospital research

BBC Spotlight

Researchers have been encouraging people to take part in clinical trials to try to help further medical science.

The work being carried out by the University of Exeter and the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital covers a range of conditions.

It can involve taking a new medicine or having a pre-existing symptom regularly monitored.

They're also hoping to involve more children in their trials and there's more information on how to get involved here.

Dealing with mental health in low income communities, is not purely a medical problem
Dealing with mental health in low-income communities is not purely a medical problem, says new research.

Robots and insects: The farming answer to climate change

Anna Varle

BBC News Online


Farming leaders in Devon say it's time for agriculture to be recognised as part of the solution to climate change - not the problem.

A report by the Committee on Climate Change says the industry needs to make major changes to reduce greenhouse emissions by 2050.

But researchers involved in a multi-million pound project say they're already looking at a number of innovative ways to do this, including using robotics to harvest crops and farming insects to feed animals and humans


Professor David Hosken, a researcher at the University of Exeter's Penryn campus, is investigating the use of crickets to feed animals and people.

The ultimate aim of the project is to provide a protein source that has low environmental impact...I think it could be massive, actually. In 50 years time, I'll be surprised if large proportions of our protein intake are not supplied by insects."

Professor David HoskenUniversity of Exeter

Students 'in limbo over no-deal Brexit foreign placements'

BBC Radio Devon

Students at the University of Exeter who are required to spend a year abroad as part of their degree say they are in limbo until a decision is made about Brexit.

They are concerned the foreign exchange programme Erasmus may not get funding next year if there is a no-deal Brexit.

Students said they could not book work or accommodation for placements due to start in six months time until they knew what was going on.

University of Exeter

The government said the draft EU Withdrawal Agreement means students in UK-based organisations would be able to continue to participate in Erasmus+ exchanges and placements post-exit until the end of the current Erasmus+ programme in December 2020.

Its current no-deal arrangements include the government saying its underwriting of a guarantee made in 2016 still stood for successful Erasmus+ bids submitted and approved while the UK was still a member state of the EU.

Other EU countires, however, have been advising their citizens against studying in the UK because of Brexit uncertainty.

In February, The Guardian reported that Norway’s higher education minister said he recommended students "look at other countries than Great Britain".

Expelliarmus! Harry Potter star helps pollution study

BBC Radio Devon

A Harry Potter star is joining forces with University of Exeter analysts to survey plastic pollution in UK rivers.

Actor Bonnie Wright, who played Ginny Weasley, is joining Greenpeace volunteers and scientists to collect water samples from three points along the River Wye in Wales.

The samples will be analysed by the University of Exeter and compared with other samples collected from major rivers across the UK for a report on levels of small pieces of plastic pollution known as "microplastics" - tiny plastic particles, which come from degraded plastics and synthetic clothing.

Bonnie Wright
Ian West/PA Wire

Scientists said they could be toxic to wildlife and make up a vast proportion of the plastics that flow from rivers into the seas.

Bonnie said she was highlighting the work after being "shocked to learn that most of the plastic that I've ever used is still somewhere here on earth".

Kirsten Thompson, from the university, said there were lots of studies on how much plastic there was in the seas but few so far had investigated the amount and types of plastic carried in rivers.

She said it was hoped the research would help uncover where the plastic was coming from and what impact it was having on creatures such as otters, kingfishers and water voles.