As a knowledge and evidence based organisation the work of the Trust is supported by the Conservation Committee.

The Committee advises and reports to the Trust’s Council on any appropriate matter relating to the conservation of our natural heritage.

The Convener of the Committee is a member of the Trust’s Council and other members are selected through an open recruitment process. Committee members should generally be members of the Trust.

Specifically the Committee advises on conservation issues of strategic importance to the Trust and on its conservation priorities, policies and advocacy programmes. The Committee also support the Trust’s wildlife reserve acquisition, disposal and management policy and practice, and monitors and advises staff on the content of responses to external consultations.

Dr Ian Jardine OBE
Vice Chair (Convenor, Conservation Committee)

Ian was born in Edinburgh and lives in Perthshire. He has degrees in Ecology and Zoology and spent most of his career with Scottish Natural Heritage (now NatureScot) where he was Chief Executive for 15 years. He also worked for Scottish Government and the European Commission, helping to review its nature legislation. He has a life long interest in wildlife and in helping people to experience and enjoy it sustainably. He is also a Trustee of the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh.

Andrew Binnie 
Deputy Convenor, Conservation Committee

Andrew is a marine conservationist based on Arran with an MSc in ecosystems management. As Director of the Community of Arran Seabed Trust, he led on delivering the South Arran Marine Protected Area. He has appeared on radio and TV advocating a ban on scallop dredging and worked for conservation and development groups in Scotland and Papua New Guinea. He has over 30 years’ experience in business and NGO management gained with charities, volunteer agencies and in educational publishing.

Julian Caldecott
Council Member

As an ecologist, Julian has mainly worked on tropical wildlife research and conservation, and on consulting and writing about solutions to challenges around biodiversity, ecosystems, water and climate change. His priorities include promoting ‘peace with nature’ and the climate emergency response by advising official aid donors on partnership-based ecosystem protection, education and governance. His interests include history, natural history, and exploring Scotland’s landscapes. His key aim is to promote globally aware and networked actions that build on Scotland’s precious resource of public enthusiasm for safeguarding heritage, natural beauty and ecological integrity.

Dr Tim Duffy
Vice Chair (Watch and Groups)

Tim is currently Vice-Chair and Planning Secretary of the Trust’s Lothians members Group. He has previously served terms as Chair of that group and many terms as a Trustee on this Council, during which time he has cycled between all the Trust’s wildlife reserves to raise money for the 50th anniversary. Currently Vice-Convenor of the Council’s Conservation sub-committee and recently retired from a career in the Natural Environment Research Council, Tim has three degrees in ecology and is now studying botany, Gaelic, Chinese painting, calligraphy and the clarsach!

Alasdair Lemon
Council Member and Young Leader

Alasdair is the Group Secretary for Stirling and Clackmannanshire Group and one of the Trust’s Young Leader. He has an Honour’s degree in Marine Biology and a Master’s degree in Wildlife Biology and Conservation. Having previously worked for Froglife and Buglife he is currently the Conservation Officer for Argyll for the RSPB. At university, he was elected Students’ Union Vice President for Equality and Diversity, and he founded and became President of the Students’ Union’s Marine Society. He is eager to help provide a youth perspective to help shape the Trust’s future.

Ron Macdonald

Ron Macdonald retired from SNH in 2015 after 27 years of service. He was SNH’s Head of Policy & Advice and before that served as an Area Officer and Area Manager.  He chaired the Scottish National Reintroduction Forum from 2011-2015, the Scottish Wildcat Project up to 2014 and was joint chair of Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrel Project, from its start until 2014.

He is an honorary research fellow in the Department of Biological Sciences, Aberdeen University, a Trustee of the Macaulay Development Trust and Chairperson of the North East Biological Recording Centre (NESBReC).

He has a keen interest in land use management, local and user community engagement, species management and more recently marine resource management.

Nicola Melville

Nicola is a Senior Scientist at Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) specialising in the sustainable use of natural systems. Previous to this role she worked for the RSPB for 17 years working at a UK level on water and flood risk policy, as a Conservation officer in Yorkshire, and as a senior conservation officer developing the RSPB’s approach to landscape scale conservation in Northern England. She likes to innovate and find new ways of working with people to make a real difference for nature and the environment.

James Pendlebury

James’s career has spanned research, management and market development in the timber and forestry sectors in several countries, including a spell as CEO of Highland Birchwoods an NGO with a significant record of delivering native woodland restoration projects across Scotland.  He holds a BSc Honours degree in forestry and a PhD, both from Aberdeen University, and an Honorary Professorship in Forestry from the University of the Highlands and Islands.  He joined the Forestry Commission in 2002 becoming Chief Executive and Accounting Officer of Forest Research, and member of the Forestry Commission Executive Board in 2008.

James is responsible for the strategic vision and scientific direction of Forest Research, the leadership of 239 staff and an annual research budget of over £16.5m.  His role is to ensure that Forest Research provides appropriate research and evidence to the Forestry Commission, forestry sector, UK, Scottish and Welsh ministers.

He is a keen angler, gardener and lifelong Newcastle United supporter!

Dr Kenny Taylor

Dr Kenny Taylor is a Black-Isle-based writer, broadcaster and lecturer with a background in animal behaviour, ecology, wildlife surveys, conservation and the media. Formerly the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Northern Officer, he has played prominent roles in campaigns and debate about peatland afforestation, mountain development, the buy-out of Eigg, GM crop trials and restoration of native woodlands and native species.

Former Chair of many groups – including Trees for Life and Cairngorms Local Biodiversity Action – he continues to be involved in a variety of groups promoting environmental education and local arts. Kenny is known across Scotland for his many books, magazine features, talks and broadcasts.

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