Arden University is delighted to announce our new partnership with renowned conservation charity Trees for Life to plant a tree for every student that graduates with us.

We’re creating a dedicated Arden University Graduate Grove of trees with Trees for Life in the Scottish Highlands.

It’s our simple way of ensuring a lasting environmental legacy for our successful student body as they complete their learning journey with us.

So far, we’ve planted 759 trees to commemorate the achievements of our class of 2019 and 2020 graduates and our graduating class of 2021 will see an additional 900 trees planted.

Trees for Life is working with thousands of partners and individuals to create a revitalised wild forest in the Highlands of Scotland providing space for wildlife to flourish.

Professor Carl Lygo, Vice-Chancellor and CEO at Arden University, said:  “As a pioneering new UK university formed in 2015 and graduating our first students we wanted a modern way of celebrating their success and leaving a legacy for generations. Planting a tree for each graduate is part of our commitment to sustainability.”

Trees for Life grows and plants different species of trees in the Scottish Highlands on our behalf. Our Arden trees will be planted in small groves alongside other native trees, and in time, will transform open hillsides into healthy young woodland, helping to restore the mighty Caledonian Forest which once covered much of Scotland.

This rich habitat will then support wildlife such as red squirrel, black and capercaillie grouse, pine marten and golden eagle.

Trees for Life was founded in 1986 by the visionary ecologist Alan Watson Featherstone. It seeks to restore the Caledonian Forest that once covered much of Scotland but is now reduced to small pockets of forest.. So far, its volunteers have planted over one million trees, grown from local seed in its very own nursery.

In 2008, using money it raised through public appeals, Trees for Life bought the 10,000-acre Dundreggan estate in Glenn Moriston. It consisted of a few hooked old pines and ancient aspens, birch and juniper clinging to life. The rest of the land had been grazed to the quick by the overstocked deer or planted with dismal lines of exotic conifers. Emerging from the eroded peat were the stumps of the trees that once grew there and died long ago.

The charity hopes to bring red squirrels, capercaillie, beaver, wild boar, lynx and wolves back to their native habitats. It has already established an experimental population of wild boar in an enclosure. Their rooting helps tree seedlings to break through the bracken and regenerate naturally. The charity is also planting and helping regeneration in other key Highland locations, including Glen Affric (pictured).

Trees for Life is an inspiration for the thousands of visitors and volunteers who become involved in its projects every year and for other rewilding projects around Britain.

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