Grasslands Garden at the Horniman Museum and Gardens © Horniman Museum and Gardens


Current Director


Prior to becoming Director in 2014, David Rae was the Director of Horticulture and Learning at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. From 1996–2006 he was the UK representative on the European Botanic Garden Consortium and was Chairman of PlantNetwork – the Plant Collections Network of Britain and Ireland 2000–2002, then Honorary President 2002–2014. In 2003 he launched the Journal Sibbaldia, the journal of botanic garden horticulture. He is currently on the Boards of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, Hawaii, the Royal Horticultural Society, Mount Stuart Trust, St Andrews Botanic Garden and the Sibbald Trust.

Previous Directors

1989–2013 | Dr James Cullen ScD

James Cullen served as Assistant Keeper at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh from 1972 to 1989, where he was responsible for the Garden’s research programme. On leaving Edinburgh, he moved to Cambridge University Botanic Gardens to become Director of the Trust. From 1976 to 2000 he was editor of The European Garden Flora. He was awarded an RHS Gold Veitch Memorial Medal in 2001.

1970–1989 | Sir George Taylor DSc FRS FRSE VMH

Black and white close-up portrait image of Sir George Taylor
The Trust’s first Director, George Taylor, was one of the great botanical scientists of his era and a close friend of Stanley Smith. He was an outstanding horticulturist and garden designer, a notable explorer and a visionary Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.