Soon retiring from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and, with more time on my hands, I’m looking to ‘give a little back’ for the 33 years spent wandering the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. My interest in JMT was heightened by an inspiring evening in a Sandwood Bay bothy, with Don O’Driscoll, the Trust’s local manager.
Conservation for me began in England, where as a teenager my Mum taught me to plant trees. Together we expanded the school estate’s woodland with the help of the Woodland Trust. Similarly 30 years ago we re-established a small woodland at our home here outside Glasgow, and know all about browsing deer!
As a student I was an active member of the Conservation Volunteers and even walked from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise money for the charity.
For 23 years I worked in the Glasgow investment world for major pension providers, with a short break for an MBA. Meeting many top business executives, I learnt what makes businesses tick and how to interpret financial statements. I regularly represented my employers on national radio, communicating complex financial stories in simple language.
In 2009 I completed an MSc in Environmental Studies at Strathclyde. My dissertation covered the environmental impact of windfarms. On the back of this I joined the research team tasked with updating the Scottish Government’s carbon calculator used for windfarms.
In early 2013 I joined SEPA’s Small Business Strategy team, writing the Annual Report and other papers for the Board. Recently we’ve taken the lead on Equality & Diversity reporting.
I believe my broad experience of business, the media, the environment and planning issues related to windfarms should contribute substantially to growing the Trust, and especially the John Muir Award which has great potential to encourage youngsters to take a pride in the environment.
Ian Buchanan, Susan Graves, Ralph Brook-Fox, Roberta Downes, Richard Allan