I have a lifelong interest in all aspects of nature and land use, with particular emphasis on plants and birds. I have a degree in Botany/Zoology with ecology and a PhD in peatland ecology. I have had the privilege of working in statutory nature conservation bodies, the Nature Conservancy Council and its Scottish successor body, Scottish Natural Heritage for 30 years dealing with land management, outdoor recreation and planning issues related to statutory nature conservation sites and protected species. Since then, I have been active with the Bailies as a member of the Bennachie Wildlife Group. When this was established in 2016, I led a 6-session plant identification programme helping people to understand how to look for the features that distinguish various species growing in the area, so that they gain confidence in plant identification for themselves. Using the same approach in principle, I also lead walks looking at the plants of the moorland, woodlands, blanket bogs and fen habitats of Bennachie, and their relationship with past and present land uses on the hill. I also lead week long wildflower holidays for the Aigas field centre in the Highlands, focusing on how to identify plants, their habitats and ecology. Listening out for birds and drawing attention to them always features as part of my walks.
I am actively involved with a steering group on behalf of the Bailies developing plans to promote management of the habitats and species of the Bennachie area. When finalised, after consultation with the various interested parties, including landowners, these will be used to promote and undertake practical management to enhance the wildlife and habitat value of the hill and make them more resilient to climate change.
A full list of other Trustees are also available.