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Work Experience

We offer work experience placements to local schools, these need to be arranged through your school and booked through the Work Experience Team. Contact details are provided at the bottom of the page.

What Will I Be Doing?

Working at the Botanic Garden can be a great opportunity to work with a small team, learn new skills and do some practical tasks. The work varies a great deal over the seasons so it’s hard to predict the tasks you might do. We work with you to offer you a selection of jobs to suit your interests, as well as encouraging you to try something new.

There are the usual tasks that you might imagine - such as watering, planting or pruning - as well as more diverse tasks such as working in the tropical or cactus glasshouses, looking after our collection of tropical bugs, engraving labels, working on the database, adding website content, measuring up and ordering materials, dealing with visitors, looking after our flock are rare breed sheep, taking photographs with our digital-SLR for our image library and so on. You can even make your own webpage if you like, to tell other pupils about the placement.

To make the placement as real as possible it’s really good if you can start when everyone else does. Our hours of work are: Monday to Thursday – 8am to 3.45pm (with a break at 10am and lunch at 12noon) – Friday – the same but finish time is 3.30pm. We usually go to the chippy on a Friday (so if you would like some fish and chips bring some cash). The rest of the week people normally bring a packed lunch. Tea and coffee is provided.

How Can I Find Out More?

You may wish to visit the garden before you start your placement for a look around, or if you wish you can arrange to meet some of the people you might work with. There is also the option to arrange a mock interview for you. You will find this Map useful. Each day starts at the Botanic Garden office, which is at Number 2 on the map.

You can also email the head gardener Mike Hughes if you have any specific questions at


What do I need to do?

On your first day we will do a Health and Safety induction with you, this shows you some of the hazardous areas and where you can wash your hands, find first-aid, what to do in an emergency and so on. It is important you look at this before you come on placement and show it to your parent/guardian so they are aware or the risk/control measures associated with the placement. You need to print this form and your parent/guardian needs to sign it to say they have read it as well as the following documents which can be downloaded below.

 You must bring the signed health and safety form with you on the first day of the placement, we will then run through the induction with you and familiarize you with the garden.

How Do I Arrange a Placement?

Please contact Head Gardener Mike Hughes if you would like more information, or would like to arrange a pre-visit or mock interview (optional).

Book you placement itself by through your school and by contacting:

Work Experience Team
The Work Place
Heigington Lane
Aycliffe Industrial Estate
Newton Aycliffe

Tel: 01325 375999

We look forward to meeting you and hope you enjoy your time with us!

How to Find Us


Hollingside Lane, South Road, Durham DH1 3TN


(+44) (0)191 334 2887



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