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Biodiversity

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 environment@st-andrews.ac.uk

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 info@standrewsbotanic.org

Green Corridors

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.

Do you want to plant a tree or learn more about the Green Corridors project? Contact info@standrewsbotanic.org.  

BioBlitz

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. 

Do you want to be a part of BioBlitz? Contact Haley Arnold, coordinator for BioBlitz: ha33@st-andrews.ac.uk.   

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
  • fundraising.

If you love hedgehogs or want to do your part to conserve biodiversity locally, get involved by contacting environment@st-andrews.ac.uk. 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.