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Thread: Save St Andrews Botanic Garden

  1. #1 Save St Andrews Botanic Garden 
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    Save St Andrews Botanic Garden......

    St Andrews Botanic Garden is under threat of closure due to insufficient funding. It was established by St Andrews University in the early 1960s and for the past 25 years has been leased to the local Council who have funded its maintenance and development as an educational and community facility. The lease runs out later this year and the Council is no longer willing to cover all of the running costs.

    The Garden is an absolute gem and a wonderful biodiversity resource. It contains >8,000 living plant species, i.e. ~3 times the total number of plant species occurring naturally in Britain. These are displayed in diverse open habitats (Heath, Rock, Woodland and Water) and a range of different glasshouse environments (Tropical, Temperate, Alpine and Hot Desert). It is located in the midst of St Andrews and is open daily to the public!

    You can sign a petition against the closure of the Garden by searching on Google for "St Andrews Botanic Garden" to find the home page, then click "Sign the Save the Garden Petition". Couldn't be easier. The petition closes on 5 May and will be presented to the University in June together with a business plan for the Garden's future development.

    Dr Daniel Barker
    Lecturer in Biology, University of St Andrews


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  3. #2  
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    Where will the money come from?


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  4. #3  
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    From the business plan being implemented?
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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  5. #4  
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    It may be helpful if I outline the situation in more detail.

    The land for the botanic garden is owned by the University of St Andrews. But the full running costs, of approximately GBP 300,000 per year, are currently paid by the local government (Fife Council).

    Fife Council intends to decrease its contribution of funds, gradually, to GBP 150,000 per year. This will leave a funding shortfall of approximately GBP 150,000 per year.

    If the University approves of the business plan that the Friends of St Andrews Botanic Garden are currently preparing to address this shortfall, the University will permit the botanic garden to remain open. The University does not intend to contribute funding; nor does it intend to charge for use of the land. If the University does not approve of the business plan, the botanic garden may close.

    The petition is part of a civilized campaign, working with everyone involved to find a way to keep the botanic garden open. The more people who are known to be interested in keeping the botanic garden, the more feasible any plan is likely to be. Many thanks to those who have signed the petition.

    The shortfall - GBP 150,000 per year - is a fortune from an individual point of view, but no one individual is being asked to pay all this. It is a wonderful botanic garden - definitely, I would say, among the top ten in the UK. It is extensively used for educational purposes and is well-loved in and around St Andrews and more generally in Scotland, the UK and internationally. It is one of the few calm green open spaces in a small town within which - though surrounded by golf courses and intensive farmland - there is not much open space.

    Against this background, the idea of a business plan to come up with GBP 150,000 per year seems plausible. To avoid confusion, I won't speculate about what might be in it (I'm not involved in writing the plan).

    Anyway: thank you all for your interest. The views expressed above are mine alone. I hope they cast some useful further light on the situation.

    Dr Daniel Barker
    Lecturer in Biology
    University of St Andrews
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  6. #5  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Why not ask for donations online from those who want to see the place online but can't get there in person?

    Why not sell videos of the place or make a documentary about it so that it could be sold to television companies for something they could use to show people?

    Getting the word out is important so you should go on a lecture tour with those there who can talk about your institution with television companies to expose your dilemma and cast a light on what you are doing there.


    How about a yearly Ramble whereby the people in the community come there , for a fee, and have a party with food and music?

    If these have already been tried I have more suggestions , just ask and others will help too.
    Last edited by cosmictraveler; May 1st, 2013 at 11:43 AM.
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    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
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  7. #6  
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    why not get ecology students out making quantitative studies on plant numbers, sizes, drawing diagrams of plant stuctures with and without microscopes naming and labling etc make a lecture on it??? if you have a tree which grows apples make cider, the equipment to make cider, how the equipment works, how much cider you typically get from one apple and how many apples you can get from a tree, how yeast works, how is yeast produced, how fast does yeast grow,.how do you avoid contaminating your cider,. what additives can be,used to change the flavour, how is cider usually stored is there any byproducts can you sell the byproducts lots of lecture material.
    Last edited by fiveworlds; May 1st, 2013 at 10:53 AM.
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  8. #7  
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    That was the question- but Harold asked it, first. If the petition keeps the garden open, how will the costs be covered? Is charging a small admission fee out of the question?
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  9. #8  
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    what about selling flowers youd make loads around valentines day selling exotic roses or what about making perfume
    Last edited by fiveworlds; May 1st, 2013 at 12:36 PM.
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  10. #9  
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    Thank you all for the ideas about the St Andrews Botanic Garden. Please could you also put your suggestions online at the botanic garden Web site, as follows:

    (1) Search Google for: St Andrews Botanic Garden home

    (2) Click "Discussion forum", and follow the instructions there.

    This will ensure your comments get seen by the appropriate people.

    Thank you,

    Daniel Barker
    Lecturer in Biology
    University of St Andrews
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  11. #10  
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    The petition deadline has been extended to 20 May.

    You can sign by searching on Google for "St Andrews Botanic Garden home", then click "Sign the Save the Garden Petition".

    Many thanks to those who have signed so far.

    Daniel Barker
    Lecturer in Biology
    University of St Andrews
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