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University lumbers up for 600th anniversary

600 trees for 600 years

A tree planting project starts in St Andrews today (Wednesday March 21, 2012) at 1400 hours as part of the University of St Andrews’ 600th anniversary celebrations.

All are welcome to come along and plant their individual contribution to the University’s living history – with each tree planted representing a year of the University’s history since teaching began in 1411.

Planting events will take place across two sites. The first is next to University Hall – the meeting point is in the wooded area behind the Halls of Residence. The second site is next to Fife Park – the meeting place is by Fife Park Reception or in the top car park.

Carol-Ann Cunningham of the University of St Andrews said: “Transition University of St Andrews is thrilled to be hosting this 600th Anniversary event.  It is a fantastic opportunity for the whole St Andrews community to take practical action on sustainability, and we would encourage everyone to come along to plant a tree or two!”

The project is supported by the Woodland Trust who have provided 400 trees towards the 600 as part of its national tree-planting initiative to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, aiming to plant 6 million trees across the UK in 2012.

Carol Evans, Director of Woodland Trust Scotland, said:

“Groups are transforming their neighbourhoods; creating shade and shelter, and providing new homes for wildlife. The great news is that everyone can get involved.”

The 600 trees for 600 years project will see Blackthorn, Hawthorn, Hazel, Silver birch, Rowan and Common oak planted across St Andrews throughout the year.

According to the Woodland Trust, nearly 50% of the ancient woodland that survived until the 1930s has since been lost or damaged by agriculture, development or planting by non-native conifers.  In addition, most of ancient woodland we have left is fragmented, eight out of 10 ancient woods are less than 20 hectares (50 acres) in size and nearly 50 per cent of ancient woods are less than 5 hectares (13 acres). In addition, 85% of the ancient woodland that remains has no legal designation.

The University of St Andrews is committed to developing sustainable solutions to global concerns at both theoretical and practical levels, indeed one of the core themes of the 600th Anniversary Campaign is protecting and promoting Life on Earth. The 600 trees for 600 years project is a reflection of this focus on sustainability.

Those planning to join in the 600 trees for 600 years project are requested to wear warm clothing and sturdy footwear.

The event is co-ordinated by Transition University of St Andrews, funded by the Climate Challenge Fund (CCF), in partnership with University’s Estates Team.

Notes to News Editors

Transition University of St Andrews is a project led by students and staff within the University who are working on solutions to climate change and peak oil. Transition promotes low-carbon lifestyles and runs various projects within the University and beyond in the community.

The People’s Postcode Lottery have funded all community tree packs provided by the Woodland Trust across Scotland this spring.

For more information please visit www.st-andrews.ac.uk/transition or email: transition@st-andrews.ac.uk

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