Botanic Garden could soon be Fife’s newest wedding venue

Could these youngsters be future brides and grooms at the Gardens?
Could these youngsters be future brides and grooms at the Gardens?

St Andrews Botanic Garden could become the town’s newest wedding venue if a planning application gets the go-ahead.

And it would see brides and grooms tying the knot under canvas in a tipi.

The botanic garden has applied for permission to use an under-utilised area of the garden to erect a chain of tipis to allow weddings and other events to take place between March and September.

The garden hopes that income from events will assist in replacing the loss of funding from Fife Council, as well as diversifying existing activities.

The site proposed for the tipis is at the herb garden, which is currently not used and described in the planning application as offering no amenity value.

The area has already been used for events – last year a wedding was held on the site and events associated with the Open were also held there last year.

The Botanic Garden already hosts a wide variety of events, from music to learning for youngsters in the town.

The planning application reassures: “The Botanic Garden will continue to operate first and foremost as a garden. The event space will diversify the activities undertaken at the Garden and will also generate income to subsidise the sustainable operation of the Garden in the long term.

“It is also anticipated that events within the Garden will assist in replacing the loss of funding from Fife Council.”

The application also claims using part of the garden for events will attract more visitors and generate economic benefits to the wider St Andrews area, benefitting hotels, cafes, restaurants, pubs and shops by bringing wedding guests to the area for weekends.

The application adds: “The proposed use for a small area of garden ground for event space is a complementary use. The Garden is currently a popular location for wedding photos. All structures are temporary in nature and will not impact on the quality and character of the Botanic Garden.”

The application says that all noise, traffic and parking implications have been assessed as acceptable.

In 2014 the Garden Trust was established to take over the running of the Botanic Garden after its future became un certain in the light of council budget cuts, and St Andrews University no longer had an academic need for the site, nor the resources to continue to maintain it.

Th garden was founded in 1889 by the university and has been on its present site , just off Canongate, since 1960.

A renowned collection of some 8,000 species has been acquired, including ferns, herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees , some native to Scotland but reflecting species from around the world.