Biodiversity is important for our health. Where the life of animals and plants varies, our well-being increases. We mitigate and adapt to climate change by making St Andrews into a biodiverse space.
Below are the groups and initiatives working on biodiversity at St Andrews.
The Biodiversity Working Group
The Biodiversity Working Group was formed in autumn 2019. The working group consists of staff, academics, students and experts from external organisations such as the St Andrews Botanic Garden. The group works on improving biodiversity through:
- survey, monitor and control of species and plants
- habitat infrastructure, management, and planting
- research and teaching
- communication and engagement.
Are you interested to learn more or become a part of the Biodiversity Working Group? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Creating Urban Meadows for Pollinators
With the University aiming for Net Zero by 2035, the management of open spaces will be crucial for supporting biodiversity and sequestering carbon. By March 2022, we aim to manage 10% of our open space for wildlife. This is the first step towards our 2035 target of managing more than 60% of our land for biodiversity.
To realise this, we are putting a transformational grassland management programme in practice. It will create biodiverse meadow habitat and woodland green corridors in and around St Andrews. We work in partnership with the University of the St Andrews Botanic Gardens, Fife Coast, Countryside Trust and Crail Community Partnership, while supporting Fife Council with their Grassland Management work, also aiming to making 10% of its grassland to more natural landscapes like meadows or woodland to increase biodiversity and reduce carbon emissions.
Get involved with regular practical conservation workdays to learn more about conservation management and support biodiversity by contacting email@example.com
The Green Corridors project is a collaboration between the St Andrews Botanic Garden, the University, Fife Council and BugLife. The project restores habitats and controls invasive species along Kinness Burn and North Haugh Campus.
500 trees have been planted since the Green Corridors project was initiated 2020. This includes public spaces and private gardens in St Andrews.
The BioBlitz is a race against the clock to find as many species as possible within 24 hours. It encourages citizen science by highlighting the biodiversity around us. Over the course of the event, scientists, naturalists, and members of the public work together to conduct wildlife surveys and identify all the species found. The data helps us to understand our local ecosystem and what actions to take to support it.
A hedgehog friendly campus
Hedgehogs were declared vulnerable to extinction this past summer in Britain. The University has partnered with the Hedgehog Friendly Campus programme, sponsored by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, to combat their decline. We work to qualify as a Hedgehog Friendly Campus through:
- creating hedgehog-friendly environments
- raising awareness
The University has achieved Bronze Accreditation from the British Hedgehog Society as part of its Hedgehog Friendly Campuses campaign.
The accreditation is a result of the engagement of the University’s student-led Hedgehog Friendly Campus society – supported by colleagues from Estates – who have spent the past year conducting litter picks, placing hedgehog houses around campus and putting together hedgehog tunnels to survey hedgehog population numbers.
The team’s next steps will be to work towards Silver accreditation, which will involve more surveys, campaigning and other activities.
If you love hedgehogs or want to do your part to conserve biodiversity locally, get involved by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on Instagram, Facebook for regular project updates.
All staff, students, and community members are welcome, whether you are passionate about conservation or just the species themselves. Together, we can help hedgehogs by reaching University Bronze, Silver and Gold accreditation.
Vertically Integrated Projects (for students)
Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) gives students from any discipline and level of study the opportunity to join a research team as part of their degree studies.
There are currently five VIPs focusing on environmental sustainability:
- Biodiversity Literacy
- Biodiversity Change in the Anthropocene
- Looking after Eden
- Environmental Ethics at Work
The Biodiversity Literacy 2021/ 2022 cohort recently visited the Isle of May. Watch the video below to find out more about their experiences learning about biodiversity in St Andrews and the surrounding area.