Planting Stories: Garden Volunteer


The Science and Industry Museum is currently going through a transformative period of masterplan projects that includes: The Power Hall (upper yard), The 1830 Warehouse and the new Special Exhibitions Gallery (lower yard).  These projects are at varying stages of in their programme and on completion will significantly enhance the visitor experience and offer. As part of these projects we have created a new site trail and also installed garden planters around the outside areas of the museum to help us tell the story of this unique museum site.

A site trail will pulse visitors across the Upper Yard, from the New Warehouse and across to the 1830 Station. In line with the museum’s ‘Placemaking’ strategic priority, which includes an aim to tell the story of the site, raise awareness of its international significance and provide opportunities for the public to engage with this story, the content of the trail will focus on revealing authentic stories about Liverpool Road Station as bustling hub that kept goods moving in and out, across Manchester and the world.

Site Softening (planting) supports the key narrative of the trail, focussing on goods that moved in and out of the site, using a curated planting approach as a way in which to illustrate both literally and conceptually the goods narrative; from cotton to coal, sugar to soap, pigs to potatoes, goods of every description moved through Liverpool Road Station for almost 150 years. It was a bustling hub of people, animals and machines, keeping produce, raw materials and finished goods moving in and out, across Manchester and the world.

The trail and site softening will shift the focus from the more well-trodden passenger travel narrative, and will tell this equally vital story of the movement of goods, and of Liverpool Road Station as an important point in a web of connections that linked the industrial city of Manchester with the rest of the world.

This project may also be extended off-site and we may see planters pop up in the local Castlefield area to support other partner projects- So there may also be the opportunity to help us care for our planters in the local area, not just at the museum.



  • Maintenance and Visitor Engagement
  • Day to day upkeep of the planters including; Watering, pruning and monitoring the plants.
  • Regular feeding and staking of the plants plus keeping the planters clean.
  • Following the Maintenance Plan which will be provided to support you throughout your role.
  • Chatting to visitors about the planters and their content, in relation to how they represent the history of the site.
  • Build your knowledge about the planters and how they relate to the narrative of the museum site.
  • (Please note you will need to be able to commit to volunteering once a week and be flexible to support morning shifts which start at 9.15am to help us to water the planters and afternoon shifts).



You will definitely …

  • Be interested in Gardening, Planting, Outdoor Projects or our Museum and History of the Site in general.
  • Be interested in learning about plants, how to maintain and care for them.
  • Be interested in the museum and the history of Industrial Manchester
  • Be friendly and happy to engage with museum visitors about the project, have an interest and willingness to learn about the history of the site and how the planters will tell this story.
  • Be able to use your own initiative.
  • Have a willingness to learn about the plants and how to care for them.
  • If you volunteer for the ongoing maintenance phase be available to dedicate 1 day (2 hours) to volunteering either once per week or twice a month.
  • Have an enthusiastic and dedicated approach to volunteering


It would be good if you …

  • Have some experience of caring for plants/gardens.
  • Have previous experience in a visitor or customer facing role.
  • Are understanding of the need to be accessible to all visitors.
  • Are interested in the museum and history of the museum site.



To volunteer in this role, you must be 18 or over and eligible to volunteer in the UK. Unfortunately, SMG is unable to act as a sponsor organisation if you do not have the appropriate visa.

This role is subject to a basic Disclosure by the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS).



Contact Details
0161 696 7774

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