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How you can help

In addition to supporting the NTS in general, there are also specific ways in which you can support our gardens such as:

Financial Contributions

Maintaining the Trust's gardens to the high standard expected of Scotland's leading conservation organisation requires a budget of around £3million every year. Funding is primarily derived from membership subscriptions, visitors' entrance fees, donations and legacies. Thus by joining the NTS, visiting our properties, or making a donation you will be contributing to the upkeep of our gardens. If you would like to contribute specifically to NTS gardens or indeed to a particular garden then you can specify this when donating your gift.

Sponsoring Garden Items and Donations

Some people like to support their favourite garden by sponsoring the purchase of a specific object such as a tree or bench. Donations might be in memory of a friend or relatives, or to commemorate a special personal event such as an anniversary in which case there is the option of displaying a plaque or inclusion in the property's donation's book. If you would like more information on making a donation to a garden, you can contact the Garden's Office.


The Trust's gardens could not survive without the help of numerous volunteers who come in all ages, shape and sizes! They undertake a variety of different tasks according to their interests and levels of expertise.

If you are keen on gardening and have some time to spend you could consider volunteering for your local NTS garden. By doing this you will not only be providing invaluable support to help maintain the garden, but will also be picking up a wealth of horticultural knowledge. For example:

  • Kellie Castle you would learn all about organic gardening skills
  • Fyvie the art-and-craft of fruit cultivation
  • Volunteers also sometimes help out at Garden Events, for example by providing refreshments or giving information to visitors
  • Another way of volunteering is by attending Thistle Camps, some of which are based in NTS gardens
  • There are also a few volunteers who provide administrative support in the Gardens Central Office and other regional offices

For more information see the Volunteers page or contact the Head of Volunteering by email or phone 0844 493 2407

Supporting Scotland's Gardens

Scotland's Gardens is a charity which organises open days in gardens throughout Scotland. The charity generously donates a proportion of its proceeds to the NTS to support the conservation and maintenance of our gardens, so by visiting some of the Open Gardens and making a donation you will be supporting both Scotland's Gardens and our work. See the Scotland's Gardens website for more details and a diary for the Open Gardens at

Buying NTS plants

The Trust's plants sales make a valuable contribution to the upkeep of our gardens. So if you are thinking of buying some new plants or seeds, why not check out our Plant Centres or come along to one of our Plant Sale events where you will not only get top quality plants, but may also be able to get some unusual samples from our gardens.

Making a Donation

Each year the National Trust for Scotland spends about £3,000,000 on running and presenting its 70 gardens for the benefit of the nation. A considerable sum of this is for salaries and wages but a significant part is used to purchase tools, equipment, machinery repair and replacement, trees, plants, compost and pots, mulches and general sundries.

If the Trust's gardens are to continue to be some of the very best in Scotland, it is important that we are able to secure funding to help offset the annual running cost. If you would like to donate towards the cost of running our gardens please click here

The following are typical costs for running one of our gardens:

Basic set of hand tools: spade, fork, hoe, rake, trowel £120.00
Manure fork, digging fork, border fork £25.00 each
Stone/Potato Graip £100.00
Landscaper rake £35.00
Wire-tined rake £20.00
Mattocks, pick axes, shovels £30.00 each
Poster driver £60.00
Hand & edging shears £35.00 each
Felco secateurs £35.00
Loppers, hand- & pole saws, axes, billhooks £35.00+ each
Wheel barrow, variable sizes £35-£250
Tirfor hand winch & equipment £600.00 each
Knapsack sprayers £200.00
Tree climbing & tree surgery kit, ropes etc. £750.00
Personal Protective Equipment £150 per person
52cm rotary lawn mower £500.00
51cm cylinder mower £1000.00+
Strimmer/Brush cutter £450-£650
Chainsaws £450-£650
Shredder/Chipper £350-£7000
Ride-on lawnmower/mini tractor £2500+
Small agricultural tractor £20,000
Trailers £2500
Growing media, soils, composts, mulches £500.00pa
Case of 2500 9cm plastic pots £65.00
One standard ornamental tree £50.00 each
Plants, bulbs, seeds etc. £1000.00pa
Fuel for lawnmowers, tractors etc. £1500.00
Kerosene for heated glasshouses £10,000.00
Path repair materials following storms £250.00