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 Jon Barnes
Vice Chair (Convenor, Conservation Committee)

Jon is a biologist at Glasgow University (Honorary Research Fellow since October 2006), a current member of Council and Convenor of Conservation Committee. He has been an active member of the Trust since the late 1960s, mostly as a member of the Clyde Group, including periods as Vice-Chairman (1985 to 2003) and Chairman (2003 to 2006).

He was a member of the Trust’s Committee of Inquiry (2002) and has served on Council from 1985 to 1992 and 2006 to 2009. Jon organised “Oor Wullie’s Wildlife Garden” at the Glasgow Garden Festival in 1988 and is a member of a wildlife sites’ survey team. He is currently producing a nature trail for Partick, in Glasgow. His other interests include cricket and hill walking.

Professor David McCracken

Davy is Professor of Agricultural Ecology at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and Head of SRUC’s Hill & Mountain Research Centre which is based at the 2,200 ha Kirkton & Auchtertyre upland research farms, near Crianlarich. He conducted his PhD on the red-billed chough on the island of Islay in the late 1980s and has remained closely involved with the long term study of the population dynamics of chough on the island being conducted in collaboration with the Scottish Chough Study Group, Universities of Glasgow and Aberdeen, SNH and RSPB Scotland. Davy has been investigating the impacts of Common Agricultural Policy on the biodiversity associated with what are now termed High Nature Value farming systems across Europe for over 25 years. He was also a founder member of the European Forum on Nature Conservation & Pastoralism in 1988 and worked closely with that NGO until stepping down to focus on other work commitments in 2016.

Dr Cameron Easton

Cameron studied zoology and ecology at the University of Glasgow. He joined the Society for the Promotion of Nature Conservation (an ancestor of the Wildlife Trusts!), studying the Trusts’ policies for acquisition and management of nature reserves. He then moved to the late and much lamented Nature Conservancy Council, first as Area Officer for Lothians and then as Site Safeguard Officer. There he was responsible for all aspects of NCC Scotland’s site-based conservation, including the development of environmental information systems. He was with Scottish Natural Heritage for its first two years, responsible for the early development of Scotland’s National Parks. He then moved to the Scottish Government as ecological adviser. There he was involved with all aspects of government’s engagement with the environment including the Habitats and Species Directive, Scotland’s Biodiversity Action Plan, species management and response to a wide range of countryside issues. He continued to develop environmental information systems and retired as Head of Spatial Information Policy for the Scottish Government. Cameron is an Honorary Lecturer in both conservation/environment and GIS at the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. Cameron is a keen diver and has carried out extensive marine surveys throughout Scotland. These days he prefers to carry out more leisurely survey work on tropical coral reefs!

Sarah Robinson

Sarah’s background in ecology has involved extensive field work periods in the Arctic, Antarctic and Scotland. Whilst she remains passionate about the Polar Regions her work with RZSS has expanded her experience to warmer climes and developed her project management skills. Sarah studies Zoology at the University of Aberdeen and has an MPhil in Polar Studies from the University of Cambridge

Dr Kenny Taylor
Vice Chair (Conservation)

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.

Dr Tim Duffy
Council Member

Tim is currently Vice-Chair and Planning Secretary of the Trust’s Lothians Group. He has previously served terms as Chair of that group and as a Trustee on the Trust’s Council, during which time he cycled between all the Trust’s wildlife reserves to raise money for the 50th anniversary. Currently a member of the Council’s Conservation sub-committee, Tim wishes to serve again on the Council to help see through the new five-year plan. Tim has three degrees in ecology and is now studying botany, Gaelic and clarsach, as well as being Head of Geoscience Interoperability at the British Geological Survey.

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.

Craig Macadam

Craig is an invertebrate ecologist with over 25 years’ experience. He specialises in freshwater invertebrates, but has a good working knowledge of the ecology of a range of terrestrial groups, and is particularly interested in the biodiversity of urban areas and the impact of climate change on invertebrates. Craig is currently Conservation Director with Buglife – The Invertebrate Conservation Trust, and in the past has worked with Scottish Water, Falkirk Council and as an independent environmental consultant. He is the SWT reserve convenor for Carron Dams LNR in Stenhousemuir and in his spare time he enjoys exploring the Scottish countryside and supporting Stenhousemuir FC.

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!

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