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.

Two Horticulture Volunteers Required

Many consider the Edinburgh Garden the finest botanic garden of all for its rich collections, quality of horticulture and unrivalled backdrop of the Edinburgh skyline.  Acknowledged as one of the top five botanic gardens in the world, its living collections of plant species are the second richest in the world.   The Indoor Department is responsible 25 Glasshouse and 28 planting areas that benefit from the microclimates around the glasshouses. We hold 40% of the Taxa represented at the RBGE.


  • Sustain a 5* standard in horticultural practices
  • Grow unique specimens for scientific research
  • Maintain interesting and eye catching displays for public enjoyment as well as displaying plants for Conservation & Education


  • Digging out old shrubs
  • Double digging planting areas for planting.
  • Building plant labels
  • Edging grass lawns
  • Weeding between slabs and on the borders
  • Potting container grown collection

Essential qualities for this role are:

  • An interest and knowledge of Horticulture
  • A welcoming and friendly manner
  • A good eye for detail


We would like volunteers to commit to Thursdays each week for at least 12 months if possible.

Working from 9:30am to 3:pm

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 28th February 2015 indicating Indoor Department in the subject line. 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 staff in the Indoor Department team before mid-March 2015.

If you have not heard from anyone by 16th March 2015, you must assume that your application has not been successful.


Information Assistants : Inverleith House

Inverleith House is seeking enthusiastic, motivated and welcoming Information Assistants to support the successful delivery of our forthcoming exhibitions.

Working as an essential part of a small, experienced team, you will be responsible for helping visitors to the gallery gain greater insight into the exhibitions as well as ensuring the safety of all artwork on display. You will receive full gallery training and will have the opportunity to meet each artist for a tour of their exhibitions in advance of them opening. You will work closely with Inverleith House staff, allowing you to confidently interpret the work of the artists and convey the gallery’s passion for contemporary art in an intelligent and meaningful way.

In return for your assistance, the gallery will provide you with essential work experience in the arts, share with you our knowledge and understanding of exhibitions and audiences, and help you to develop your professional skills. You will also be given access to a unique archive and library.

We would like you to have excellent communication skills and a love of contemporary art and would ask that you are prepared to work for at least one day per week for the duration of each exhibition.

Whilst all invigilation posts are unpaid, the experience provides a unique insight into the thinking, programming, and running of one of today’s leading small galleries. Part of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Inverleith House is also known for its commitment to improving our appreciation and understanding of the natural world through related exhibitions of contemporary art and botanical science.

Opening hours: 10am to 5.30pm, Tuesday to Sunday

To apply, please send a CV and covering letter to Chloe Reith, Exhibitions Officer. Email c.reith@rbge.ac.uk


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)