St Andrews Botanic Garden focuses its activities in Conservation and Urban Ecology, and underpinning these missions are research and education programmes that include biosecurity, plant biogeography, and applying botanical and ecological research to practical horticultural and ecological conservation challenges. We are currently working on our 12 year Biodiversity Plan which will set out our response to the biodiversity crisis, prioritising in situ conservation in temperate regions with climates similar to St Andrews. Using pioneering mapping techniques developed in the Garden, we are targeting our research and conservation work in places where we can share experiences and collaborate to solve global challenges.

We actively welcome opportunities to collaborate and develop new partnerships, so if you have a botanical or conservation question that you’d like to ask, please get in touch! Alongside our research, we have an active  education programme for all ages, from toddlers through to adults, offering self-guided tours, and curriculum-linked and personalised sessions. If you would like to bring a school group, birthday party or community workshop, please get in touch and let us know how we can support you.

Recent publications

The team at St Andrews Botanic Garden are leading and participating in a number of research  programmes, addressing some of our most pressing challenges. Our work is published in a range scientific and industry journals, with recent work including:

  • An assessment of the potential of botanic gardens and arboreta to contribute to urban forestry species selection (Hirons et al, 2020)
  • A study of our understanding of the genetic diversity of trees used in urban forestry (Sjoman and Watkins, 2020)
  • A roadmap for architects and planners to incorporate emerging environmental microbiome research into urban development projects (Watkins et al 2020)
  • An experimental review of the potential of applying ecological research techniques to urban forestry (Watkins et al 2021)
  • A horizon scan of the top biosecurity questions facing the UK (Kemp et al 2020)