Become An Ellisland Volunteer & Champion Local History

The Robert Burns Ellisland Trust are looking for volunteers to welcome visitors, support education work or help with gardening and maintenance.


The heritage centre will hold a Volunteer Open Day on Wednesday 24 April at 1pm for anyone interested in supporting its work. The event offers a chance to learn more about Ellisland, where Robert Burns wrote Auld Lang Syne and Tam o Shanter. Light refreshments will be provided.


Siobhan McDonald, Museum Project Manager, said: “As a small museum, our volunteers are essential in making Ellisland a welcoming place to be.
“Some volunteers work behind the scenes of the museum in non-public facing roles; others welcome people, help with learning sessions or are part of delivering our exciting programme of events, open days and celebrations.
“If you have an interest in Robert Burns, in history, want to do something for the local community, make new friends or learn new skills, we’d love to hear from you.”


Scotland’s national bard Robert Burns built the farm on the site in 1788 and a Historic Environment Scotland study in 2021 found it to be of “exceptional” cultural and historic significance.


It remained a working farm after Burns left but became a place of pilgrimage for admirers of the bard. In recent decades the steading, woodland  and the surrounding paths along the Nith have been maintained by a devoted group of volunteers.


In 2020, The Robert Burns Ellisland Trust (RBET) was established, replacing the previous trust that cared for Ellisland Farm until 2019. The new trust is eager to ensure the long-term sustainability of Ellisland Farm, bringing the spirit of Burns to the 21st century, centering the role of Burns’ wife Jean Armour and the importance of the environment to Burns’ creative work.


Dr McDonald said: “Heritage must always look to the future. There has to be a place where we can connect, create and engage with heritage. Ellisland Farm is that place, where the past can meet the future in a celebration of the National Bard, Robert Burns”.
“By becoming a volunteer you can be a part of the future of Ellisland. You can also help our visitors connect with the natural world and the rich Scottish heritage Burns celebrated through his writing.

Potential volunteers who are unable to attend the events on 24 April can contact Siobhan McDonald at 01387740426 or via email at [email protected]

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