Our Biodiversity Plan
Reading Time 1 minute and 50 seconds
Date 1 September 2022
St Andrews Botanic Garden moved to its present location in the 1960s and has changed a lot throughout the past 60 years - and now we are working on our plans for the next 60 years. Our commitment to addressing the challenges of conservation during the biodiversity crisis and a fair transition to Net Zero are at the heart of our plans for the future - and this means making some bold choices and big changes in every area of the Botanic Garden’s work.
Every Botanic Garden has its areas of focus - for some, it’s taxonomy and systematics, for others, it’s the display of plants from around the world and there’s a spectrum of different expertise in between. We started work on our Biodiversity Plan in 2021 and will be publishing it October 2022. This plan will set out a 12 year plan for how we will support conservation and research and in turn, set the agenda for all our education work and investment in the Garden.
Our research and conservation plans for the Botanic Garden are based around establishing plant communities where we can study the ecological drivers of evolution, investigating how and why our plants are changing in response to climate change and biosecurity threats - and in turn how they might evolve and what types of plant communities we might see in the future. At the heart of the Biodiversity Plan will be two strands to our research: monitoring plant behaviour in the Botanic Garden and partner sites, and then using these data to develop forecasts and guidance for practical decision making, policy development, and plant conservation.
To reinforce our commitment to conservation in Fife with a global perspective, the focus is going to be on the spectrum of plants and habitats found in temperate climates. Our research has found places around the world with similar climates to St Andrews, sometimes in unexpected places. The biodiversity crisis has different impacts around the world, and this research will allow us to develop partnerships with people and habitats where there are similar types of challenges so that we can collaborate and develop solutions. There is a burning sense of urgency!
Biodiversity Plan Timeline 2020 - Plant collection audit and design of the Tangled Bank project
2021/22 - Establish infrastructure, begin planting, Biodiversity Plan, design research programme, establish partnerships
2023 - Planting establishes, oversowing of Tangled Bank habitats where appropriate, recruit postgraduate researchers and volunteers, monitoring begins, retrofit Boiler House, build workshop
2024 - Biocene Garden, retrofit Potting Shed
Please ask the Garden team and check our website for how you can get involved in making these plans happen.