Opportunities to Volunteer

We encourage individuals to support our activities through becoming a volunteer. Volunteers support the work of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh in many ways. The main role of the volunteer is to increase the educational value, interest and enjoyment of a visit to the Garden. This includes explaining the vital role of plants in everyday life and the need to ensure better management of the world's resources.

At present volunteers operate within various areas of the Garden including Horticulture, Science Communication, Events, Herbarium and Library. Herbarium volunteers assist with the mounting and curation of specimens, and Library volunteers usually work in the Archives or Illustrations collections. All opportunities to volunteer will be fully advertised below when they arise.

Volunteers needed:

Botanic Cottage School Programmes, School Gardening Project and Nursery Programmes.

Come and enjoy being a part of our team at RBGE, and help children gain valuable gardening skills for life with all the benefits to physical and mental health that being outside brings.

RBGE Schools Education Department is looking for volunteers to help in 3 areas:

Botanic Cottage - New Primary School Programme ‘Grow Your Own’

Support our tutors to set up and deliver sessions with school groups which involve activities outside and in the Potting Shed.

Occasional Wednesdays (9am - 12.30am) and / or afternoons (12pm – 2.30pm) – Bookings dependent

Botanic Cottage - School Gardening Project

Help children from local primary schools grow their own veg in our plots.

Thursday mornings (9am - 12.30am) and / or afternoons (12pm – 2.30pm)

Friday morning (9am - 12.30am)

These seasonal sessions mainly run between March to the end of September during school terms. Duties outside these times may include helping at the occasional public event, with other School Programmes and also team days where we do any prep or maintenance work to garden areas.

Skills needed:

  • An interest in gardening. It’s the perfect opportunity to either share your gardening knowledge or indeed learn with the children and you may take away new skills yourself. Please note gardening work is light so don’t worry if you can’t heavy lift, etc.
  • Must enjoy working with children. All volunteers will need to be registered with Disclosure Scotland’s PVG scheme and RBGE will conduct any necessary security checks prior to the offer of any placement.
  • Enjoy working independently and as a member of a team.

Help with Nursery School visits

Grandpa’s Garden (Occasional Monday’s, 9am - 12.30am and / or afternoons 12pm – 2.30pm, Botanic Cottage)

Wee Green People (Occasional Wednesday’s, 9am - 12.30am and / or afternoons 12pm – 2.30pm John Hope Gateway)

Help set-up and take down, meet and greet Nursery groups and support our tutors to deliver these magical experiences for Nursery age children.

Application information

If you are interested in helping with these projects, as well as gaining valuable practical experience with our Education team, please complete the attached volunteer application form and return this by email to volunteering@rbge.org.uk  as soon as possible. Applications will be considered until the closing date of 22nd Feb 2016. Please indicate on the form what relevant skills you can offer in support your application. If you are successful in being given this volunteering opportunity you will be contacted directly by Education staff before 26th Feb 2016. If you have not heard from anyone by 26th Feb 2016 you must assume that your application has not been successful.


Schools placements are co-ordinated through Career Development Edinburgh and Lothians.

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Bill Jeffrey and Maureen Brazier, volunteers at Dawyck Botanic Garden, taking a well-earned break from weeding the Nepalese area.

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a charity (registration number SC007983)