Volunteer FAQ

We want to make sure that you get the most out of your time with the Trust. Here you’ll find lots of information about volunteering with us.

If you can’t find the answer to your question here, get in touch with us using our contact form.

How much time do I have to give?

The Trust has many volunteer options available. This can range from full-time volunteer placements to two hours a week. Have a look at our volunteering opportunities for an idea of the types of placements available.

Do I need to be a member of the Trust to be a volunteer?

No, volunteering is open to everyone.

Where are placements?

The Trust cares for over 90 places across Scotland and 76,000 hectares of land. Volunteering opportunities can be spread far and wide. Please have a look at our volunteering opportunities to see if there are positions in your area.

Do I need special skills to volunteer?

Some voluntary positions require specialised knowledge and experience. Specific information for each vacancy can be seen on our volunteering opportunities. For many positions, we ask simply that you are enthusiastic to learn, meet new people and discover new experiences.

Will I receive training?

Yes, we will provide training where it is necessary for the volunteer position.

What about insurance?

All volunteers and staff are covered by the National Trust for Scotland’s insurance while engaged in voluntary work or associated activities connected with the Trust.

When can I apply?

You can apply any time throughout the year, but it is important to remember that many Trust places close during the winter months.

Is accommodation offered?

We are unable to offer accommodation with the majority of volunteer positions.

Will volunteering affect my benefits?

Volunteering will not affect any benefits you may claim. However, if you have any queries please get in touch with us using our contact form.

What’s happening with Working Holidays (Thistle Camps)?

Unfortunately, our working holidays programme is still under review, and we hope a decision will be made soon about what residential volunteering experiences we can offer in the future.

Are there more positions available to volunteers than are currently advertised?

If you cannot see a vacancy among our volunteering opportunities that interests you but would still like to volunteer with us, please get in touch with us using our contact form with further information about your relevant skills and experience. We will do our best to accommodate your request.

I work full time. Can I still volunteer?

Yes. We have a wide range of commitments available for volunteers, from event volunteers to weekend Conservation Volunteer Groups. Please explore the site to find out which opportunity best suits you, or have a look at our volunteering opportunities.

I live overseas and would like to volunteer with the Trust. Is this possible?

The Trust welcomes all prospective volunteers. We work with partner organisations and schools throughout the world with great success. We ask that all volunteers have a high standard of spoken English and, for office-based positions, a high standard of written English is also required. Volunteers from outwith the European Union may require a visa to volunteer in the UK. We cannot offer any advice about visas for volunteering in the UK, but please visit the UK Government website for more information. It is also important to note that we cannot provide accommodation with the majority of our volunteer positions, and cannot offer any help towards travel costs or living expenses.

Can I complete an internship at the Trust as part of my study programme?

Yes, with a minimum time of 6 weeks, although most placements are between 8 and 12 weeks. We are able to offer unpaid internship placements for both national and international students. These internships can take place in various Trust places, including outdoor conservation, gardening, research, administration or guiding, and are arranged to take account of the needs of the Trust and the student.

Please note that unfortunately we are not able to provide any financial support or accommodation. All interns have to fund their travel expenses, day-to-day living costs and accommodation by themselves. Overseas students may also need to apply for a visa. Additional funding may be obtained by student grants or scholarships, for example, the LEONARDO scholarship for students from Europe.


This handbook will provide you with a general overview of volunteering with us.