A new project that will transform part of St Andrews Botanic Garden has been launched ahead of the COP26 climate change conference.
The Tangled Bank will extend across about three acres – and will include exotic species alongside three of Fife’s most at-threat native habitats.
It will feature meadows, sand dunes and boardwalks, while buildings will be retrofitted for community education.
Those behind the £300,000 project say it will allow researchers to consider key climate change issues.
The research will help the botanic garden address problems like plant invasion, biosecurity and climate resilience.
There are also steps to reduce the carbon footprint of the garden, water usage and pest control by more than 50%.
Harry Watkins, director of St Andrews Botanic Garden, said: “Business as usual simply can’t continue.
Showing politicians ‘how bold we need to be’
“We need to find new ways to conserve plants and teach communities about what we can do in response to the biodiversity crisis.
“The Tangled Bank will show the world’s politicians what kind of action is needed in response to COP15 and COP26 and how bold we need to be.
“As a small charity, St Andrews Botanic Garden can be nimble, and hopefully The Tangled Bank will inspire bigger organisations to take similar steps.”
The Tangled Garden takes its name from Charles Darwin’s famous description of ecological relationships.
Mr Watkins added: “These changes are transformational for the garden and will mean that we can do so much more for the community.
“We are encouraging groups and individuals to get involved in the events we are running, and to get in touch if they’d like to talk more about what we’re doing.”
The project is being funded by NatureScot, St Andrews Community Trust, St Andrews University and the Friends of St Andrews Botanic Garden.