Heritage Seed Library volunteer

Heritage Seed Library Volunteer

Role Description



About Garden Organic

Garden Organic is the UK’s leading organic growing charity and is dedicated to researching and promoting organic gardening, farming and food. Our purpose is to get as many people as possible to grow organically.



What do our volunteer gardeners contribute?

Working as part of a team, our HSL volunteer gardeners contribute to the maintenance and development of our flagship Heritage Seed gardens at Ryton, which serve to inspire and educate visitors. They also provide a friendly face for visitors to the garden, answering any questions they may have.



Why volunteer for Garden Organic?

Ryton Gardens lies at the heart of our work to promote organic gardening, offering volunteers the chance to make a real contribution in a beautiful and unique setting.  In Looking after the HSL grow out area and display gardens you will develop your own knowledge and skills whilst helping to spread the organic message to visitors.  Simply enjoy the company of a friendly group of like-minded gardeners, or use your time with us as a stepping stone into work or college.



What’s in it for you? 

  • Becoming part of a friendly and dedicated team
  • Meeting people from all walks of life
  • Getting your hands dirty and enjoying the great outdoors
  • Developing your own organic gardening knowledge and skills



What’s involved?

Working as part of a team of friendly staff and volunteers you will participate in the maintenance of the HSL Grow Out area and Display Garden.  Tasks can be variable depending on the season and weather and can include:

  • Assisting with planting, staking, weeding, pollinating and harvesting of seed.
  • Assisting in seed cleaning and packing of seed.

What days can I volunteer?

Volunteer days at the Heritage Seed Library are Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 9am and 4pm only (to ensure we have staff to supervise). Some volunteers can spare us a couple of hours a week/fortnight, some a half day and others a whole day ... whatever works for you.


This role will suit people who:

  • Have some experience and knowledge of organic gardening and a desire to learn more
  • Enjoy working as part of a team
  • Are willing to work out of doors in all weathers and undertake physical tasks such as compost turning and digging over beds
  • Have a careful, consistent and flexible approach to work
  • Are happy to work unsupervised from time to time
  • Have good communication and listening skills.



What do we offer our volunteers?

  • Full induction to Garden Organic
  • Appropriate support and supervision
  • Relevant on the job training
  • Task appropriate personal protective equipment
  • Reasonable travel expenses
  • Membership of Garden Organic*


Volunteers are asked to wear sturdy boots and bring weather appropriate clothing. We also recommend you bring a water bottle and sun cream.



*Subject to contributing an agreed number of hours per year.