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.


Volunteering Role- Team Overview

The Arboretum Team at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh are responsible for managing the tree and shrub collection, which includes RBGE’s extensive collection of rhododendrons. Also under the team’s care is a large range of herbaceous plants, providing interest throughout the seasons.

Gardening Volunteers


Assist the Arboretum team with the maintenance and development of their areas in the garden. This will include planting, weeding and watering as well as other tasks such as pruning and plant division

Help the team with arboricultural tasks where required, this may include assisting with the clear up of storm damaged trees

Welcoming visitors to the garden and talking to them about the work you are undertaking

Skills and qualities needed

Essential qualities for this role are:

  • An interest in gardening
  • A welcoming and friendly manner
  • Being open to learning and developing new skills
  • Some horticultural knowledge is preferred


We would like volunteers to commit to at least 6 months if possible. We are looking for help at the following times:

  • Wednesday 9.30am – 3.30pm

 Application information

If you wish to make an application, please complete the attached volunteer application form and return this by email to volunteering@rbge.org.uk before Friday 29th April 2016 indicating ‘Arboretum’ in the subject line. Please indicate on the form the relevant skills you can offer in support of your application. If you are successful in being given this volunteering opportunity you will be contacted directly by staff in the Arboretum team by mid-May. If you have not heard from anyone by Friday 13th May 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)