PLANTS Project East Inventory Officer

Organisation: The National Trust for Scotland

Salary: £22,797 - £24,071 pro- rata - per annum

Location: Edinburgh

This exciting new role will play a key role in the Edinburgh & East Inventory Team for the PLANTS Project – Plant Listing at National Trust for Scotland, a three-year programme to survey, and update the plant inventories at the 39 major gardens owned and managed by NTS across Scotland. Accurate plant records are essential, to ensure legal compliance, safe management of the collections, and for supporting visitor engagement and research. Working with the newly implemented IrisBG database, this project represents a major investment in our plant collections and will result in up-to-date plant records across the Trust. The completed inventory will help us safeguard the collections and will provide our property and gardens staff with a reliable, accessible source of collections information for interpretation and visitor enjoyment.

The purpose of this role is to deliver plant collection inventories as part of a regional PLANTS project inventory team on site at properties and to update and process existing accession data within the IrisBG database. The post will involve extensive travel within the region and occasional visits to other parts of Scotland for project meetings and the post holder will be expected to undertake extended periods of time away from home to undertake garden audits where daily travel distances are impractical.

If you are considering applying for this post on a secondment basis, please discuss with your Line Manager prior to applying to ascertain whether this could be supported.


• Undertake plant inventories at properties during the spring and summer seasons using plant identification and research skills to create accurate lists of plants held within the plant collections.
• Process the data collected during the inventories matching established plants found with existing records, creating new records for unregistered plants, and checking the accession records in the database to ensure all data held is accurate and consistent.
• Undertake research into locally held property files and plant records to bring together background and supplementary data surrounding the plant specimens and process this in accordance with records held in IrisBG.
• Produce content for social media and NTS blog as well as contribute to a program of public and stakeholder communication promoting the project.
• Work with and induct project volunteers and property-based volunteers with a particular focus on facilitating the volunteer led plant photography aspect to the project.
• Work with gardens and property staff to schedule and carry out the inventories and to foster a new culture of record keeping with property teams.
• Engage with the visiting public on location at properties during inventories to promote the project and answer questions whilst working.
• Support gardens staff to follow Trust policies and procedures for the long-term maintenance of the plant inventory information in IrisBG.


• A college diploma in horticulture And/OR demonstrable experience in a related field.
• Demonstratable plant identification and taxonomy skills.
• Strong IT skills including experience of MS office software such as Word and Excel.
• Meticulous attention to detail, in particular when handling large and complex datasets.
• Good organisational and time management skills including the ability to prioritise work and to manage conflicting deadlines.
• Excellent interpersonal, team work and communication skills when dealing with a wide range of people and confidence representing the Trust to the visiting public.
• Ability and willingness to work outdoors in inclement weather and on rough terrain.
• A driving license, current for driving within the United Kingdom and willingness to travel across Scotland with regular nights away from home.

• Previous experience of computerised plant collection management systems such as IrisBG.
• Experience of large-scale inventory projects.
• An understanding of the legal and ethical issues regarding plant collection management and an interest in heritage horticulture.


• Edinburgh and East – 13 major properties across the region including Branklyn, Hill of Tarvit, Kellie Castle, Falkland Palace, Culross Palace, the Hermitage, House of the Binns, the Pineapple, Inveresk, Malleny, Newhailes, Harmony and Priorwood and any associated secondary properties as appropriate.
People Management
• No people management responsibilities
Finance Management
• Has no budget responsibility
Tools / equipment / systems
• IrisBG plant records database
• Microsoft 365 and Office packages including Word and Excel
Example key performance indicators and targets
• Carry out plant inventories in at least five properties in the summer months.
• Update 60 accession records per day in the winter months.

Application Deadline: Friday 10/02/2023