Group Members

John Glen (chair)John Glen (chair)
Chief Executive
Buccleuch Group

John Glen is the Chief Executive of the Buccleuch Group, the banner group for a diverse range of companies owned by the Duke of Buccleuch. The Group covers a broad spectrum of services within the land management sector from visitor services on the four country Estates to commercial property development, Bio-energy and agricultural services. Before joining the Buccleuch Group, John has had a long and varied financial career, spanning several continents and industry sectors. Before returning to Edinburgh in 2008, John was based in Paris as Chief Financial Officer of Air Liquide, the world leader in industrial gases, and was extensively engaged in the development on international accounting standards as the Vice Chairman of the European Financial Reporting Group (EFRAG).

Alongside his work at the Buccleuch Group, John is a non-executive director for BIC and is Chairman of the Board at Alba Trees. John is also a member of the Board for Project Scotland, a national charity helping young people realise their potential through volunteering.


Stuart GoodallStuart Goodall
Chief Executive
Confederation of Forest Industries

Stuart Goodall is Chief Executive of the Confederation of Forest Industries (ConFor). ConFor represents forestry and wood-using businesses across the UK. Stuart has over 20 years experience in forestry and wood, working both in the public sector for the Forestry Commission in a variety of policy development and representational roles, and in the private sector with ConFor. ConFor has been in the forefront of promoting forestry and wood in a low carbon economy, and Stuart regularly writes and speaks on forestry and climate change matters.


Graham HutcheonGraham Hutcheon
Group Operations Director
The Edrington Group
Mark AitkenMark Aitken
Principal Policy Officer (Land)

SEPA’s national policy lead on land and soil issues. My current work includes developing and implementing polices and strategies on land and soil protection, agricultural policy reform (in relation to environmental issues), land use strategy, climate change mitigation measures, peatlands, forestry expansion and diffuse water pollution. I was Manager of SEPA’s Land Policy Unit for 2 years. Prior to joining SEPA in 2004, I had various positions with the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) including as Team Leader and Principal Consultant in Land Management, responsible for consultancy and applied research projects on land management and soil. My original background qualification is Soil Science (B.Sc., M.I.Soil Sci. and C.Sci).


David BarnesDavid Barnes
Deputy Director of Agriculture and Rural Development
Scottish Government
Jamie LindsayJamie Lindsay
Chairman, Scotland’s Rural College
Chairman, Moorland Forum

Jamie Lindsay is currently Chairman of Scotland’s Rural College SRUC, the Moorland Forum and UKAS. He is also a Non-Executive Director of Scottish Resources Group Limited and BPI plc. His career has spanned senior appointments in the commercial, NGO and government sectors, and has included ministerial responsibilities in Scotland for agriculture, the environment and sustainable development.


Andrew MidgleyAndrew Midgley
Senior Policy Officer
Scottish Land and Estates

Andrew Midgley is Senior Policy Officer at Scottish Land & Estates, a membership organisation that uniquely represents the interests of both land managers and land based businesses in rural Scotland. Andrew covers agricultural, forestry, crofting and land use policy. Prior to joining Scottish Land & Estates he worked in the Scottish Agricultural College where he helped set up the Rural Policy Centre and was involved in a wide range of projects including ‘Farming’s Retreat from the Hills’, Rural Scotland in Focus 2010 and Knowledge Scotland. He has also worked for Scottish Natural Heritage on the implementation of the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy. He holds a PhD from the University of Edinburgh which examined the cultures of nature conservation in contemporary Scotland.


David ReayDavid Reay
Senior Lecturer in Carbon
University of Edinburgh

Dr Dave Reay is a senior lecturer in carbon management at the  University of Edinburgh. He specialises in climate change mitigation  and adaptation in the land use sector. He is head of postgraduate  teaching in the School of Geosciences, director of the MSc in Carbon  Management, and deputy director of the Global Environment and Society  Academy.


Hamish TrenchHamish Trench
Director of Strategic Land Use
Cairngorms NPA

Hamish Trench is Strategic Land Use Director for the Cairngorms National Park Authority. He is responsible for land use planning, land management and conservation, working with land managers to help deliver benefits to the economy, conservation and visitor experience in the National Park. A chartered surveyor by training, he previously worked for Bidwells Property Consultants and the Deer Commission for Scotland.


Scott WalkerScott Walker
Chief Executive
NFU Scotland

Scott has been with NFUS for 17 years and has progressed through a number of roles, starting as Commodity Director in 1994. He has headed up the Union’s Policy team as Policy Director since 2004 and then in August 2011 he was appointed NFUS Chief Executive.


Bruce KeithBruce Keith
Head of Property

A Chartered Surveyor and Chartered Environmentalist with  a career spanning private practice, Central Government, a statutory conservation body and the leading renewables energy company, Bruce is keen to promote the delivery of positive results in the sustainable management of  land and property assets.  As former Chief Surveyor with English Nature and now as Head of Property at SSE, Bruce has been involved in the management and development of  extensive and diverse property portfolios where he has sought to achieve maximum benefits from multi-facted resource use and development. He is a  former Chairman of the Rural Faculty Board at the RICS and currently a Trustee of CIWEM.


Bob ReesBob Rees
Head of SRUC Carbon Management Centre
Scotland’s Rural College

Dr Rees is Head of SRUC’s Carbon Management Centre, and a Reader in Low Carbon Farming. As a soil and environmental scientist, I have research interests in nutrient cycling and soil management in a range of crop and soil systems. My current research focuses on climate change and the role that soils play in contributing to the release and uptake of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide). I have a significant involvement in EU funded research programmes, co-ordinating Legume-Futures an EU Framework project on the role of legumes in farming systems, and participate in the Animal Change and Smart Soils research projects, and have published over 90 research publications. I contribute (as Work Package Leader) to the Agricultural UK Greenhouse Gas Platform programme aimed at improving the reporting and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions from UK agriculture and MinNo, a research programme studying the intensity of nitrous oxide emissions from UK arable cropping. I am currently involved in research programmes on nutrient cycling and greenhouse gas emissions in Africa and China. I have a significant teaching role, being the module co-ordinator for a Masters course in Atmospheric Quality and Global Change at the University of Edinburgh. I am Assistant Editor for the journal Soil Use and Management, and an advisor on several international research programmes.


Alistair McVittieAlistair McVittie
Ecosystem Economics
Scottish Agriculture College

Alistair McVittie is an environmental economist with research interests in the evaluation of agricultural and environmental policy, particularly through the application of cost benefit analysis and non-market valuation. He is currently leading a Valuing Nature Network scoping study and a Scottish Government funded work package on the Valuation of Scotland’s Ecosystem Services. Recent work has included The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) Quantitative Assessment and inputs into ‘TEEB for Business’ chapter 2; refining and updating the environmental accounts for agriculture; and the development of marginal abatement cost curves for agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.


Clifton BainClifton Bain
IUCN UK Peatland Programme

Clifton Bain is the Director of the IUCN UK Peatland Programme, based in Edinburgh, which is raising awareness of the multiple benefits of peatlands.

Currently on secondment from RSPB, Clifton is a Zoology graduate of Aberdeen University with over 25 years experience in wildlife conservation. For the last ten years has been based in the RSPB Scotland headquarters, in Edinburgh, as senior policy officer, covering biodiversity and climate change advocacy.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is a global organisation, providing an influential and authoritative voice for nature conservation.

The IUCN UK Peatland Programme promotes peatland restoration in the UK and advocates the multiple benefits of peatlands through partnership, strong science, sound policy and effective practice. The Programme has recently completed a Commission of Inquiry on Peatlands to draw together evidence and deliver clear consensus on the benefits of peatland ecosystems.


David HowatDavid Howat
Head of Policy
Forestry Commission

David has extensive experience of working within forestry and currently holds the position of Deputy Director, Forestry Commission Scotland. He has previously worked in a number of forest policy roles, and as a forest manager in both Scotland and Swaziland. David has also acted as Director of Forestry Commission England and as Head of the Agricultural and Rural Development Division within the Scottish Government, as well as working as a consultant to the United Nations Forum on Forests. He lives in Peeblesshire.


Richard BirnieRichard Birnie
Landform Research

Dr Richard Birnie is Director of LandForm Research and provides consultancy and research services to land managers and developers on the environmental consequences of land use changes. He was formerly a senior researcher and Head of Communications at the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute. He has published over 40 peer-reviewed journal papers on natural resource management issues concerning the Scottish hills and uplands (e.g. peat and soil erosion, bracken, grazing management, moorland breeding birds, renewable energy). He continues to be involved in erosion monitoring at sites on Skye and in the restoration of blanket bogs on sites across northern Scotland.


Simon ThorpSimon Thorp
Scotland’s Moorland Forum

Simon Thorp has been the Director of Scotland’s Moorland Forum since 2007 and he chairs the Muirburn and Peatland Working Groups of the Forum. He has been Director of The Heather Trust since 2002.


Alan LaidlawAlan Laidlaw
Portfolio Manager – Scotland and NI
Crown Estate

Alan Laidlaw joined The Crown Estate in 2005 as Head of New Business Development responsible for new business projects, The Crown Estate’s rural customer service programme and co-investment with tenant farming partners as well as the implementation of renewable energy investment programme across the rural estate. Alan Laidlaw is a chartered surveyor and has previously worked for a clearing bank offering support and business lending to the agricultural and rural based industries across the north of England and Scotland.

Alan is a member of the RICS Rural Professional Board in Scotland and the Scottish Agricultural College’s Consultative Committee. Alan is a member of the senior management team and is the rural lead within the Edinburgh corporate leadership team, responsible for the delivery of the Scottish strategy.


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