Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Founded in 1670 on a small patch of land near the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) was established as a physic garden to explore the relationship between plants and medicine. Britain’s second oldest botanic garden after Oxford, the organisation has evolved into a world-leading centre of excellence, delivering innovative plant science, conservation horticulture, and education programmes. Its mission is to ‘Explore, conserve and explain the world of plants for a better future’. 

Three hundred and fifty years after its inception, RBGE works in around 35 countries. At home, visitors to its four Gardens: the ‘Botanics,’ in Edinburgh; Benmore, in Argyll; Logan, in Dumfries & Galloway and Dawyck, in the Scottish Borders, can gain insight into its unique Living Collection of plants, take benefit from engaging with nature and learn more about work undertaken to conserve our fragile planet. Attracting over one million visitors every year these Gardens, with their own topography and microclimates, are guardians of one of the richest plant collections on Earth.

The challenges we face

The biodiversity crisis and climate emergency are the greatest challenges of our time and, with the understanding that all life as we know it is dependent on plants and fungi, our work has never been more crucial. Our focus is to identify and describe species new to science. Only then do we have the knowledge base to understand the species at risk of extinction and conserve those important to the survival of other species – including humans. Our scientists combine traditional practices with cutting-edge DNA technology to unravel relationships between species and provide a new understanding of life on Earth.  Key regions of our work include Central and South America, the Himalayas, and South East Asia, where we work with like-minded agencies and communities in tangible conservation and education projects. From the schools’ curriculum to HND, MSc, PhDs professional, and recreational courses, we educate in more than 50 countries.

Some of our key efforts

Alongside our Living Collection, our extensive Herbarium holds approximately three million preserved specimens, representing half to two-thirds of the world’s flora, and is a leading resource for researchers around the world. These are supported by our extensive Library and Archives.

Against this backdrop, we are embarking upon Edinburgh Biomes, a major capital investment project and the biggest of any undertaking in our history to restore our Heritage Glasshouses, replace the ageing research houses, future-proof our estate and improve public engagement at our Edinburgh Garden.

By using this Fitquid app, you are helping to support our work for now and for the future of the planet.

Why is FitQuid working with the Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh?

Given FitQuid’s goal of facilitating the creation of an inclusive community that comes together with a shared purpose of mental and physical wellbeing, we believe that the RBGE is the optimal partner in our endeavor.

This is evident in the fact that RBGE provides a vital green space and acts as a hub for community projects. Many of their activities center around building connections between people, plants, and each other, and the physical, emotional, and social benefits this generates.


Plants & Our Health is a podcast miniseries exploring how plants and nature are critical for human health and wellbeing.

Plants & Our Health is a collaboration between RBGE and Not Another Science Podcast and is funded with support from the British Ecological Society. Tune in every week from Friday 12 February to hear our host Aaron de Veres dive into exciting new stories from the world of plants. Episodes can be found under ‘Not Another Science Podcast’ on Spotify, the Apple Podcasts app, Google Podcasts, and elsewhere. Be sure to hit ‘subscribe’ so you don’t miss an episode.

Listen to Not Another Science Podcast today.

Botanic Stories

Keep up to date with personal and project stories from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh #botanicstories

Science, Horticulture, Communities, Garden Wildlife, Exhibitions and lots more come into the spotlight. Our experts will bring you updates from around the Gardens and behind the scenes as they go about their working lives.

Read Botanic Stories today