Friends of St Andrews Botanic Garden Events Programme 

The Friends of St Andrews Botanic Garden host a programme of events throughout the year. In 2021 the following events are planned:


Friends Lecture Series 2021

We are pleased to announce that the Friends Lecture series is back for 2021! Held on the first Tuesday of the month at 7.30pm on Zoom. To sign up email Details of the programme are below:

1st December 2020- Brownfield Botany, Harry Watkins.
The slides for this talk can be viewed here. 

5th January 2021- Crimes behind the Compost Heap, A not entirely serious look at some of the wrong doing that goes on in our gardens, Dr Stan da Prato.

Stan grew up in North Berwick and still lives in East Lothian. He learned his practical horticulture from his father, a professional gardener ,before taking up a career in education. His spare time studies of song birds in the Lothians led to a Doctorate from Edinburgh University. Stan is Chairman of the Advisory Group for Aberlady Bay Nature Reserve, a member of East Lothian’s Biodiversity Forum, past president of the Scottish Ornithologists’ Club, former secretary of the Scottish Begonia Society and on the council of the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society. He also edits the journals Scottish Birds and The Caledonian Gardener as well as helping out with several gardening clubs in East Lothian. He is a prominent member of the Scottish Rock Garden Club and very successful exhibitor. He organises the horticultural side of North Berwick in Bloom who have won a series of gold medals representing Scotland in partnership with East Lothian Council groundcare staff. He is also a judge for Beautiful Scotland. The Royal Horticultural Society has given him a Community Champion award.

2nd February 2021- Alpines: Exploring the World of Alpines, Sarah Carlton
The world’s mountain habitats are of growing interest as climates warm and alpine species are under increasing threat. Deepening our understanding of the ecology and evolutionary adaptations that alpine plants have undergone will give us the tools to protect them. Sarah is passionate about alpine plants, and has explored many alpine regions. She will share her knowledge and experiences of the exciting species found in these extreme terrains

2nd March 2021- Tropical Mangroves: tidal forests of the tropics, Alan Watson Featherstone

Mangroves are a group of different species of trees and shrubs that have evolved to flourish in the intertidal zone on sheltered tropical coastlines. Known collectively as mangrove forests, the species within them have developed a unique set of attributes to live in the challenging conditions where they occur. Mangroves fulfil many important ecological functions and act as a nursery for much marine life, but are under threat today from human activities. Based on over 30 years experience of visiting mangrove forests around the world, this talk will reveal the remarkable beauty, diversity and significance of these ecosystems that form the interface of land and sea in the tropics.

Alan Watson Featherstone is an ecologist, nature photographer and public speaker who founded the Scottish conservation charity Trees for Life in 1986. During his 30 years as its driving force, it became the leading organization working to restore the Caledonian Forest, planting over 1.5 million nature trees and engaging thousands of volunteers in its work. Alan’s TedX talk about this has been viewed by almost half a million people, and has given talks and presentations in over 25 countries around the world. Alan has travelled extensively to photograph the trees and forests all over the planet, particularly those at risk, and has had a fascination with mangrove forests for many years.

6th April 2021- Garden design: Rediscovering Lost Gardens, Dr Murray Cook
Research by Stirling Council’s Archaeologist  Murray Cook has revealed details of two lost gardens in Killearn and Stirling. The Place of Killearn is a 17th and 18th century designed landscape which was abandoned in the early 19th century. The landscape features Killearn’s oldest oak tree, a medieval predecessor house, the Jacobite threat and a rusticated water feature. Livilands House contained a prehistoric broch in its garden which was researched by one of the first female archaeologists in the world and subsequently destroyed as the garden was redesigned. The redesigned garden echoed prehistoric fortifications and was abandoned in the 20th century

4th May 2021- Searching for future urban trees: from the wild to the urban garden, Dr Henrik Sjoman