Get Involved

Work with us

As an ever growing and dynamic organisation, the Secret Garden provides regular opportunities for interested parties. We are currently recruiting for new sessional staff! If you think you might be interested in joining the team then please get in touch via the office ( we look forward to hearing from you.


Volunteer with us

As a not for profit organisation we welcome anyone who may have some time to give to the nursery. You may have some administration skills to support the office staff or more outdoor, practical skills to bring to the woods. Please do get in touch with the office if you may be interested in volunteering with us.

Student placements 

We can also welcome students on placement from universities and collages. So if you fancy spending your placement outside in the woods, working at a nursery that is a little different then please do get in touch – we’d love to hear from you. You can read Natasha’s and Antje’s stories below, they both volunteered with the nursery over the course of several months.

Natasha Lowery, Student Placement January – April 2019

Growing with the Secret Garden… On a mid April Monday, as the train brought me back towards Edinburgh, I reflected on how much has changed since I began placement in January at the Secret Garden. The days are longer now, so I don’t have to walk home in the dark. There is warmth to the air, often blown swiftly away by the strong wind, and the birds seem to never lose their breath as they sing from the treetops. My body and mind feel more alert at the end of the day, less tired, as if they have become accustomed to the long day and have grown stronger. But more than that, despite the movement of the train bringing me physically further from the woods, the children, and the other practitioners, I feel more connected and settled. 

I have learned so much at The Secret Garden, from the practitioner team, the children, and the woods. They have all offered the gift of awareness and connection and so even though my time there has ended, they are gifts that I can bring with me and carry forward through my practice and personal life. The teams commitment to awareness and support of learners (both the children and myself) is fantastic, and from my experience in this field, a rarity. I know I will continue to grow and learn from my time at The Secret Garden, as I continue to reflect on the moments we shared together. So for now, a HUGE thank you to the Secret Garden community, and best wishes for the future. 

Antje Bahlinger, Student Internship January – March 2018


  My name‘s Antje Bahlinger, I am 21 years old and am studying Childhood Education in Freiburg, Germany. I‘ve spent three months volunteering at the Secret Garden Outdoor Nursery from January to March 2018 as part of my course. All staff members, children and their families have given me a warm welcome in the woods. The team has been open to answering any arising questions and has given me the opportunity to take on responsibility in a supportive environment.   I‘ve always been passionate about the outdoors and my placement at the Secret Garden has given me the opportunity to combine my love for early years with the one I have for nature. Now, I am confident that I want to work in an outdoor nursery after my graduation in 2019. My time at the Secret Garden has helped me in my development as an early years practitioner and has inspired me for my future work.   If you are thinking about a student placement, I couldn‘t encourage you more to get in touch and arrange a visit to see for yourself if the Secret Garden Outdoor Nursery might be the right place for you!