Taking Action: Community Plants New Woodland

In honour of the recent COP26 conference in Glasgow, The St Andrews Forest, Meadows in the Making and the St Andrews Botanic Garden teams came together to host a three-day tree planting marathon.

The aim of the initiative is to increase the network of green corridors for people and wildlife, support native biodiversity and urgently take action to sequester carbon and reach the university’s goal of net zero by 2035. As it can take 10 -15 years after a tree goes into the ground for it to sequester any significant amounts of carbon, the time is now to get planting.

Now, nestled behind the Sports Centre are 600 plus young native trees, carefully placed to include a tall emergent layer of tree such as oak, a canopy layer which includes species such as birch and rowan and the understory shrubs such as hawthorn and hazel. The forest also includes willow and alders at the north where the ground is wetter. The wood also includes a winding path to encourage future enjoyment.

We had great enthusiasm and engagement, with over 170 individuals from the community and the university took part in planting, including 80 pupils from both Canongate and Lawhead Primary Schools. Everyone went away overjoyed with the experience and excited to come back and see the growth of the forest. Others wished they could “do this forever”!

An even younger team of tree planters were the Wild Fife Babies and Bairns who came along with their Mums ready for some digging and planting in various forms.

Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves – the children in particular – and happy to do something tangible for the environment during COP26. A wood truly planted by the community.