A global tapestry

An ambitious project to create and improve ecosystems. For carbon, for nature, and for people.

The St Andrews Forest

The St Andrews Forest will form a tapestry of woodland and other nature-based projects across the globe, which will reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The goal of the Forest is to sequester about 20,000 tonnes of carbon per year, equivalent to the emissions from student semester travel, forming a core part of the University’s vision to be net zero by 2035.

Beyond carbon sequestration, the Forest will:

  • enhance biodiversity, providing a green haven for vulnerable species of flora and fauna
  • provide additional ecosystem services, like clean air and water
  • create space for people and community, providing opportunities for teaching, research, and leisure.

In time, the project will also demonstrate other nature-based solutions, including peatland and salt marsh restoration, and blue carbon projects.

The St Andrews Forest builds on significant ongoing sustainability efforts to reduce the University’s carbon footprint, while recognising that some activities will create unavoidable emissions that must be offset.


Where is the Forest?

The first tree of the St Andrews Forest stands in St Salvator’s Quadrangle, in the heart of the University. Planted at the Forest’s launch by alumni The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the tree and its central location are a living symbol of the importance of sustainability to the University’s future.

Donors have already contributed areas of woodland in Scotland and planted individual trees in North America.

Plans are currently being developed for planting locations in Fife and Scotland. These will follow the principle of ‘right tree, in the right place, for the right reason’.

Three people planting a Scots Pine tree, on previous grazing land. There is a small dog in the foreground.
Principal Sally Mapstone with alumni donors Tim and Kim Allan.


What are the key milestones in the life of the Forest?

Forests have lifetimes that extend far beyond ours.

The vision for the St Andrews Forest spans into the next 600 years, echoing the celebration of the University’s 600th anniversary in 2013.

Logo: Net Zero by 2035

Current plans are being driven by the University’s vision to be net zero by 2035.

Being net zero for carbon in 2035 and beyond requires us to act now, as trees take 10 to 15 years after planting before they begin to sequester meaningful amounts of carbon.


Be part of the Forest

The St Andrews Forest is an investment in nature and community, and a practical action that tackles the greatest problem of our time – climate change.

Supporting the St Andrews Forest with your hands, knowledge, or gifts, will help balance the carbon emissions that are an unavoidable part of delivering world-class teaching and research.

Your support will create living assets that will continue to benefit many generations to come.


Students 'hanging out' in a tree


Tree planting

Tree planting projects are being organised on an ongoing basis. If you would like to get involved, please sign up for planting.

Planting days are open to all, including students, staff and members of the wider St Andrews community.

Students with spades


You can make a donation on the Forest crowdfunding page.

If you wish to donate carbon credits, land or trees, or would like to request an offline donation pack, please contact [email protected] for more information.

University staff members can participate in through the University’s Give as you Earn scheme. Enter ‘University of St Andrews (SC013532)’ and ‘St Andrews Forest’.

Share your expertise

The University welcomes help in various forms, particularly from those who share the Forest’s long-term vision.


Never miss an update about the Forest, sign up to the newsletter.


Photography: Gayle McIntyre, © The University of St Andrews

Featured Locations

Sports Wood
Rustling Tree Wood

Recent Updates


Tree planting volunteer FAQs

Email Newsletter

Subscribe to be the first to read about the St Andrews Forest.