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.

The Edible Gardening Project 

The Edible Gardening Project at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a community focused project promoting growing and eating healthy food to members of the public. The project is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Volunteering Roles Required:

Market Garden Volunteers

We are looking for hardworking individuals to assist with our new Market Garden in the RBGE Nursery, developed specifically to grow crops for use in the Botanics’ catering outlets including the Gateway Restaurant and Terrace Café. The Market Garden is supported by Sodexo Prestige.


  • Assisting with general garden maintenance including weeding, sowing, planting, and watering.
  • Harvesting crops and helping with deliveries on site.
  • Landscaping and digging new vegetable beds.

 Skills and qualities needed

Essential qualities for this role are:

  • An interest in gardening and growing food
  • A welcoming and friendly manner
  • Being open to learning and developing new skills
  • Some horticultural knowledge is preferred
  • Please be aware that this is a physically demanding role


The role is from spring 2017 to October 2017. We would like volunteers to commit to at least 6 months if possible. We are looking for help at the following times:

  • Monday 9.30 – 2.30

Application information

If you wish to make an application, please complete the attached volunteer application form and return this by email to jfoulkes@rbge.org.uk before Sunday the 8th March 2017 indicating Edible Gardening 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 Edible Gardening team before mid- March. If you have not heard from anyone by 16th March 2017, 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)