Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Kew is a global resource for plant and fungal knowledge. 

Our unique combination of extensive collections, databases, scientific expertise and global partnerships gives us a leading role in facilitating access to fundamental plant and fungal information. The core purpose of our science stems from a simple but often overlooked truth: all our lives depend on plants and fungi.



Kew needs passionate individuals to help solve some of the critical challenges facing humanity today. We employ people like you to conduct leading-edge research, stimulate curiosity and debate, cultivate beautiful gardens and work with the public to encourage a life-long love of plants. We want you to be part of the team.

We have two sites, one at Kew Gardens near Richmond in London and one at Wakehurst in Sussex. Kew Foundation, our charitable arm, delivers Kew’s membership scheme and fundraising programme to support Kew’s work. And Kew Enterprises, our commercial arm, delivers commercial services, products and events in the Gardens and online.

We currently employ around 800 staff and work with around 600 volunteers to achieve our objectives.


Volunteering and Internships

Volunteer and internship roles at Kew support a range of activities and projects taking place at Kew Gardens and Wakehurst by assisting staff in their work. There are currently over 600 people taking part in Kew’s volunteer and internship programme and generously donating a day or half-day per week of their time and talent.

Recruitment is carried out when a number of placements become available – there is no set recruitment period during the year. We aim to provide the right placement for each volunteer and opportunities for a diverse range of people. We do not recruit on a first come first served basis. During recruitment periods, application forms held on file are considered and the most suitable applicants for a particular role are invited for an informal chat. During this session we explain more about the volunteering opportunities available and find out about why applicants want to volunteer.


Horticultural Volunteer

If you have a passion for plants and conservation and enjoy getting your hands dirty, join our thriving community of 150 horticultural volunteers. Horticulture at Kew maintains the Gardens' living collections and plant-based elements. Our horticultural volunteers support the work of our trained horticulturists by helping out with the basic maintenance of Kew’s plant collections, for example, propagation, planting, weeding, pruning, mulching, tidying and lawn edging.

Opportunities are available from Monday to Friday only, both outdoors and in our glasshouses. There are no weekend horticultural volunteering opportunities. Volunteers usually donate one day per week, Monday to Friday, normally starting between 8.30am and 10.30am and then finishing between 3.15pm and 4.15pm. We try to place volunteers according to their preferences. On the job training is given with more formal training sessions provided as and when necessary.


Students & Apprenticeships

Various opportunities for study starting in September 2017, including the 3 year Kew Diploma and various certified courses for students in aboriculture, kitchen garden production, ornamental horticulture, and propagation

Contact / Enquiry

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