Skip to main content

You are here

Facebook icon
Pinterest icon
Twitter icon


Find out more about volunteering opportunities in Kew's iconic Herbarium. Perfect for people with a passion for plants and conservation.

The interior of wing C of the herbarium showing the spiral staircases

Be part of a team that discovers new things about plant life around the world.

Introducing Kew's Herbarium

The Herbarium at Kew, one of the largest of its kind, was founded in 1853 and houses 7 million dried and mounted plant specimens from almost every geographical region of the world. It plays a vital role in providing training in areas such as plant identification techniques, taxonomic nomenclature and conservation. It also acts as a centre for information exchange and a channel for networking between plant specialists, students and researchers in other related areas of study from around the world.

Kew's Herbarium offers a series of opportunities for volunteers with either its regional teams, that work in specific geographical areas, or its basic research teams, whose work is centred on systematic botany (i.e. comparative plant biology). Other sections include the GIS Unit that is responsible for mapping (both vegetation and species) and the UK Overseas Territories Programme which carries out conservation and biodiversity research.

The main goals of Kew’s research are to define the units of plant diversity (species and higher categories) and organise them into meaningful classifications that reflect their evolutionary relationships. We then apply that knowledge to conservation science. This work generates vital basic data for habitat and plant conservation and sustainable development strategies.

Browse current volunteering opportunities

More from Kew

  • Kew bag for life
    Features the Kew Gardens logo. From 100% unbleached cotton
    Kew bag for life
  • Shop online
    Tea towel and bag with unique designs by Holly Francesca.
    Tea towel and bag with designs by Holly Francesca
  • Art exhibition
    'Magnolias' features paintings by artist Barbara Oozeerally.
    Magnolia campbellii from the exhibitibion of paintings by Barbara Oozeerally
  • Book of the month
    Plants: from roots to riches - a companion to the series
    Plants: From Roots to Riches, a landmark Radio 4 series