Our Trustees

The work of Borders Forest Trust is managed by an elected board of Trustees.

Rosalind Grant-Robertson

Rosalind Grant-Robertson lives in Edinburgh and is now retired from consultancy work in language assessment. She has considerable experience as a trustee, not just of BFT, including a year as Chairman, but also has held offices on the boards of other charities in Edinburgh and London. She offers organisational skills, an eye for details and commitment to the cause. With a family background in farming, she maintains a keen interest in country affairs, horticulture, the environment and wildlife, as well as travelling widely. She is a Life Member of BFT and several other environmental bodies.

Philip Ashmole

Philip has lived near Peebles for 43 years, in a house now surrounded by woodlands and wetlands established by himself and Myrtle. He is a biologist with a doctorate in seabird ecology, and taught ornithology, ecology and evolution at Yale and Edinburgh universities before retiring (at 58) in 1992. His research has been on seabirds on tropical oceanic islands and insects and spiders of mountains, caves and lava flows. He has been involved in ecological and conservation projects on various Atlantic islands and has published two (nearly three!) books on island natural history, as well as the Carrifran Wildwood Story, all of them jointly with Myrtle. During the last 23 years he has concentrated on native woodland restoration in southern Scotland, especially as volunteer co-ordinator of the Carrifran Wildwood project and a founding Trustee of BFT.

Hugh Chalmers

Hugh has lived in the Borders since 1992 and worked in nature conservation his entire career, firstly with the Scottish Wildlife Trust, then with the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group and with Borders Forest Trust from 2000 to 2008 as the Carrifran Project Officer and BFT Site Manager.  He currently works for the Tweed Forum as Collaborative Action Co-ordinator.  He has a degree in agriculture and an MSc. in Natural Resource Mangement.  Ecological restoration is his main passion especially in the wilder parts of Scotland.  He is a director of Reforesting Scotland and the secretary of A Greener Melrose–a Tranistion Town initiative and manages the new orchard at Drygrange.  He is a member of the Wildwood Steering Group and leads high camp volunteer groups on the site.

Sarah Eno

Sarah retired a few years ago from her work as an Area Officer with Scottish Natural Heritage.  Since then she has become especially involved in botanical surveying and biological recording.  She is Chair of The Wildlife Information Centre and edits and produces the Biological Recording in Scotland newsletter.  She is also very involved with Borders Organic Gardeners.

Jim Knight

Jim has held an interest and concern regarding forest loss in Scotland since his early teenage years.  He has a BSc in Ecological Science and a BPhil in Landscape Design and has been working as a landscape architect in both public and private practice since he graduated in 1981.  He is married with two adult children who grew up in the Borders after his wife, Annette, and he moved here in 1992.  In his current employment, he is ‘Lead Officer Natural Heritage’ at Scottish Borders Council with responsibility for the Council’s role in relation to landscape, ecology and tree matters.  He hopes to provide a useful link with the Council but mainly, he is keen to return as a Trustee in order to assist Borders Forest Trust with its ambition to restore at least a little of what has been lost in centuries past and to create something new that future generations will cherish.

David Long

David is a native of Berwickshire and lives near Lauder.  He has a degree in botany from Edinburgh University and a doctorate from Trinity College, Dublin.  His career was as a research botanist, working as author and editor on the Flora of Bhutan, as well as studying the systematics and evolution of bryophytes, particularly liverworts.  He is active in bryophyte recording in Scotland, particularly the Scottish Borders, and trains bryophyte apprentices in identification and site surveying.  He has restored an 80 acre former Forestry Commission woodland to young native woodland, with remaining mature spruce managed for fuelwood production.  He is a long-standing member of BFT and serves on BFT Ecological Planning Groups.

Brenda Robertson

Brenda is a retired physical education teacher who was also a qualified primary school teacher. She has an affinity with, and respect for any activities connected to the great outdoors and natural habitats. A founder member of Darnick Community Woodland Association, she was involved in negotiations with Scottish Borders Council over the acquisition of a three acre extension to the woodland known as Shunters Wud. Subsequently she has organised planting days in this “new” area to establish areas of native planting and a community orchard. Over the lifetime fo the woodland she has organised various events catering for children and adults. Brenda is also a director of Darnick Village Trust and other interests include sitting on the Volunteer Strategy Steering Group for National Health Service, Health Services Scotland working on the “Investing in Volunteers” Standard.

John Thomas

John was an NHS manager and latterly a planner.  When he retired he threw himself enthusiastically into conservation work, first as a volunteer at Carrifran and then as a member of the Wildwood Steering Group. This coincided with becoming a trustee of the John Muir Trust and their representative on the Southern Uplands Partnership. He established the local Borders JMT Grups and organises two or three open meetings each year on conservation topics of wider interest.  As a lifelong hill walker and cautious mountaineer, becoming involved in conservation work has opened up many new aspects of the hills, going much more slowly and observing much that was previously missed.

Hans Waltl

Hans has extensive business experience running a number of companies as Managing Director and Finance Director both in the UK and Far East. He is a Chartered Certified Accountant and has practiced in both business and charity settings. In his spare time Hans is one of two Borders accredited examiners for the EU’s deer stalking qualification and is qualified in deer management both in the UK and in his native Austria and is one of the first in the UK to become accredited as a Chartered Environmentalist.  He uses his business and financial knowledge to support BFT.