Escaping to wild places has kept me sane during a lifetime of scientific research and teaching, strategic planning and project management, in both universities and the public sector. Outside the day job, my voluntary sector work has focussed on influencing government through campaigning for evidence-based policies with politicians, officials and the public. In addition to raising financial support of over £3/4M, working within a grant-giving charity has given me experience of ‘both sides’ of fund-raising, and of the intricacies of charity law.
As a JMT trustee from 2011-2017, I served on the Finance Committee, Wales Working Group, and convened the Governance Working Group. In addition to actively supporting the Trust’s campaign to protect Scotland’s wild land, I was involved in JMT’s expansion into England and Wales that resulted in the leasing of Glenridding, as well as advocacy in Westminster concerning non-devolved policies that drive wild land loss. For seven years, I was one of the team that organised the Southern Members’ Gathering.
Since leaving the Board, I have legally challenged the Welsh Government on wind farm planning, and am currently working with a Welsh Wildlife Trust to restore and conserve a rare wild upland meadow.
The main immediate priorities I see for the Trust are:
- Continued campaigning to legally protect wild land, and to get more environmental justice into the planning process;
- By making a real success of the Glenridding Common lease, demonstrate that JMT and the local community can work together to sustainably restore sensitive environments;
- To further expand its outreach work, both through the Award and with the general public. In both cases, my experience in targeted communication could be useful.
Finally, working on a UNESCO report on land use is giving me a great opportunity to put JMT’s land management principles onto a global stage.
Duncan Macniven, Patricia Jordan, Chris Townsend, Steve Green, Deirdre Wilson