Skip navigation to content

« Back to news items

New low-carbon living community space opens its doors

Friday 03 November 2017

kernel-opening-mainbody-1
A new space for the St Andrews community to explore the benefits of low-carbon living has been officially opened by local MP Stephen Gethins.

Based within the grounds of the St Andrews Botanic Garden the space known as ‘The Kernel’ will provide a space for community groups’ practical projects and workshops which need flexible outdoor and indoor space.

One key user will be the St Andrews Men’s Shed project which has its own workshop with tools and benches for ‘make and repair’ projects.

Alongside this is the main Kernel building where community Skillshares are held on everything from maintaining bikes to repairing clothing.

The space has been developed by a partnership of St Andrews Botanic Garden, St Andrews Environmental Network, Clean and Green, St Andrews Men’s Shed, St Andrews Community Hub, In Bloom and Transition University St Andrews using funding from the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund and the Pilgrim Trust.

In addition, the neighbouring community garden has beds of vegetables grown by, and for, volunteers. The site also boasts two professional greenhouses which are used by the In Bloom team to bring on all their plants and Transition from the University of St Andrews who grow hundreds of kilos of hot-house vegetables like tomatoes, chillies and cucumbers each year.

Projects being developed on the site include a tool library where residents can access a huge range of basic DIY, kitchen, craft and garden tools on a weekly basis. This aims to help locals undertake practical projects in their home, without the need to purchase unnecessary equipment, whilst also providing basic training on tool use.

Rowan Stanforth, Transition University of St Andrews Coordinator and student, said: “Tackling carbon emissions is a challenge and an opportunity. The Kernel and the programme of works being undertaken is intended to bring people together from across the town and gown through providing an excellent space to learn, share, repair and care for each other.”

Professor Anne Magurran of the University of St Andrews, which owns the land at the St Andrews Botanic Garden, said: “The University is pleased to see the ground being actively used by the community and will continue to support the ongoing development of this site.”

Once opened other St Andrews groups are invited to access the site by booking via the Botanic Garden and activities are already being held there on a daily basis. The site can be accessed from Viaduct walk via a new sculptural gate, paid for by the Pilgrim Trust.


Photo caption: Members of all the groups involved with developing the new Kernel space at the St Andrews Botanic Garden with Stephen Gethins MP at the opening of the shared resource

Background information

St Andrews Botanic Garden is an internationally recognised botanical garden covering 7.3ha of ground within the boundaries of St Andrews. It is home to over 8000 plant species and offers an extensive education programme for over 4000 people a year alongside its 24,000 visitors.

Transition University St Andrews is a group of local residents, University staff and students who undertake practical local projects which aim to reduce carbon emissions in the face of climate change. It is one of more than 500 local groups which make up the international Transition Towns movement.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office. Contact Fiona MacLeod on 01334 462108 / 07714 140 559 or fm43@st-andrews.ac.uk.