The Coronavirus has changed every aspect of life in Scotland and for much of the Spring and Summer, we had to close the Garden to the public. As we start to relax some of the guidelines, our focus is on maintaining a Covid-secure Garden. Many of the things we specialise in or take for granted, such as the glasshouse collection, the narrow woodland paths or the coffee shop will need to evaluated on a day-to-day basis.
Visiting the garden in a Covid-19 safe way
With the garden re-opening in August 2020, we have brought in new measures to ensure that our visitors are safe. They are:
- The coffee shop, glasshouses and butterfly house will not be open to the public. This is to ensure that we abide by Coronavirus guidelines.
- We will be only be accepting card payments, so please bring a contactless card or use android/apple pay.
- Whilst we’re in tier 4 our gift shop will be closed
- We will be collecting information (name and phone number) for contact tracing
Please follow government guidance whilst visiting, this means that only locals should visit the garden and if you are meeting someone else in the garden, group sizes are restricted to two people from two households (under 12s are not counted the group size).
The Urban Farm has been a great success over the past two years and the arrival of the Coronavirus coincided with the time when we were just starting to sow seeds and prepare the ground for planting out crops like salads, kales, beetroots and leeks. Many of the plants we raised were started off in trays and modules, so rather than planting them into the ground in the Garden, we have worked with Community Aid St Andrews to distribute the seedlings to people in and around St Andrews who need them most. We are delighted that the plants have found good homes in the community, including Stratheden hospital, schools, church groups, community centres and isolated individuals, and hope that growing the crops on brings as much comfort and joy to others as they do for us.
The Garden staff have been studying the wild plants of Fife growing in our towns and the country, launching the Doorstep Botany project. We are encouraging people connected with the Garden or interested in the plants that grow around us to send us pictures of plants that you see in flower – the only criteria are that it must be a plant that you see growing close to where you live and spotted during your daily walk, and the plant must not have been planted or put somewhere on purpose. We will research where in the world these plants grow and what kind of climates they are adapted to, and then using climate models we will study how well the wild plants of Fife are adapted to future climate change. It’s early days yet, but already we have been sent lots of wonderful pictures, and will share the results of the project later in the year. If you’d like to contribute, please send pictures to email@example.com and we’ll be in touch with more information.