An exterior view of Hill House in Helensburgh
An exterior view of Hill House in Helensburgh

Five ways to make a difference this summer

With summer just around the corner, the National Trust for Scotland has announced its next programme of summer volunteer projects to care for Scotland’s natural treasures.

Becoming a conservation volunteer with the charity gives participants the opportunity to learn new skills while helping preserve some of Scotland’s most loved natural treasures. With both one-day and weekend projects to choose from, the projects are an ideal way to become actively involved in conservation, meet new people and get some fresh air and exercise.

The projects, starting from 4 June and running to 9 November are open for all to take part.

Here are five ways you can make a difference this summer

1. Help preserve native plant populations at Hill House, Helensburgh

An exterior view of Hill House in Helensburgh

The Hill House is Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s finest creation, designed in his classic ‘Glasgow Style’ with for the Blackie family with his wife Margaret. The National Trust for Scotland is embarking on a 10-year conservation scheme for the house to save the iconic architecture and unique interiors. Over the weekend of the 12 and 13 October, help conserve the native plant populations at the site.

2. Pick produce from the Kitchen Garden at Geilston Garden, Cardross

A view of the house from the Geilston Gardens

Spend the weekend of 24 and 25 August renovating the paths and cultivating the borders at the magical Geilston Gardens. The 200-year-old walled garden by the River Clyde dazzles visitors every year with its spectacular blooms and extensive produce. Volunteers may also have the opportunity to pick produce from the Kitchen Garden which will aid in financing future conservation projects.

3. Maintain the former playground of the 10th Earl of Cassillis at Culzean Castle, Ayrshire

Opulent to the extreme, Culzean Country Park boasts a 260-hectare estate sculpted around miles of sandy coastline dotted with caves, and finished off with a Swan Pond, an ice house, flamboyant formal gardens and fruit-filled glasshouses. The National Trust for Scotland is looking for volunteers with various skills throughout summer to assist on a number of projects from building to landscaping.

4. Spend the weekend safeguarding an internationally important nature reserve

The Lawers Burn and Meall Greigh at Ben Lawlers

At 1,214m Ben Lawers is the highest mountain in the central Highlands. With several of Scotland’s highest Munros, the area has a celebrated collection of rare mountain plants as well as over 500 different types of lichen and a vast array of wildlife. Consisting of a weekend project from Friday 6 to Sunday 8 September, volunteers are asked to help pile and burn recently felled brash as part of the effort to safeguard the nature reserve.

5. Work in the picturesque village of Dunkeld


Spend the day of Saturday 8 June in the tranquil village of Dunkeld building a new wood store, picnic bench and compost heap. From an early centre of Celtic Christianity to becoming a hub for modern folk music, this town has a rich cultural heritage. The old market cross has been carefully preserved and around 20 of the pastel-coloured houses (private residences) have been restored by the Trust, some of which date back to the 17th century.

Becoming a conservation volunteer costs just £25 for non-members of the National Trust for Scotland and is free for current members. Volunteers can choose how little or often they’d like to participate in activities.

Full information about all upcoming projects are available HERE.

The National Trust for Scotland is the charity that celebrates and protects Scotland’s heritage. It relies on the support of its members and donors to carry out its important work of caring for the natural and built heritage of Scotland for everyone to enjoy.

From coastlines to castles, art to architecture, wildlife to wildernesses, the National Trust for Scotland exists to protect the national and natural treasures we all love. To plan a visit to a trust property, enter your postcode at