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.

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


Botanic Cottage Support Team Volunteers

A team of Supporting Volunteers is required to help RBGE to continue to develop the Community Programme that has been created over recent years. The Botanic Cottage has been in operation for just over one year and is greatly in demand, so much so that we now need support for its part in this Programme. It has become the key facility in helping RBGE to welcome fully the local community.

These roles will help ensure groups coming to the Cottage feel welcome to the space and to provide a safe and relaxed environment for their activities. This is an exciting opportunity to be part of a thriving, historic community hub at the heart of one of Scotland’s biggest visitor attractions.

This role would require a minimum commitment of 2 days a month (either full or half days) over a full calendar year to enable an effective rota for the booked activity of the Cottage. For a full role description please click here.

If you wish to make an application, please complete the volunteer application form and return this by email to Volunteering@rbge.ac.uk indicating ‘Botanic Cottage’ in the subject line. Please indicate on the form any relevant skills or experience you have in support of your application. For further information please contact Volunteering@rbge.org.uk.


Volunteer Information Assistant
Plant Scenery of the World
28 July – 29 October 2017

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) is recruiting enthusiastic and friendly volunteers for the position of Information Assistant at Inverleith House for a new exhibition, Plant Scenery of the World.

During the exhibition, we are seeking volunteers to support our Gallery Assistant team with the daily running of the gallery and act as a friendly and informative point of contact for members of the public. We are looking for volunteers to commit 8 days or equivalent from 1 September – 29 October (one day per week). The hours we ask are from 10:50am – 5:30pm (Tuesday to Friday) and 9:50am – 5:30pm (Saturday and Sunday), with a break for lunch and a coffee break.  These can be flexible with prior notification. In October the gallery also closes one hour earlier at 4:30pm.

The role includes the following:
- Welcoming and orientating visitors in the gallery
- Answering questions about the gallery, exhibition, artists and archival material
- Encouraging visitors to engage with the exhibition and the works on display with awareness of different backgrounds and levels of understanding.
- Invigilating and ensuring the safety and security of works on display
- Working in a small team to ensure the smooth running of events and workshops
- Engaging visitors with the resources and information available in the Green Room
- Leading discursive tours with small groups of visitors
- Maintaining the cleanliness of exhibition spaces
- Promoting health and safety across the gallery in line with RBGE’s policies

For further information click here.

To Apply: Please send an application form to ihouse@rbge.org.uk indicating 'Volunteer Information Assistant‘ in the subject line by 5pm on Sunday17th September.



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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)