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 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.

Lynn Cassells

Lynn lives in the Highlands near Grantown on Spey on a croft which she is currently restoring through woodland planting and holistic management and regenerative agriculture. She also works part-time for the Cairngorms National Park Authority as a Land Management Officer in the Tomintoul and Glenlivet area and runs a separate private business Tree-Wild with partner Sandra. Lynn previously worked for Borders Forest Trust as a Site Officer and is an avid supporter of ecological restoration as well as high nature value farming and integrated land management. She brings additional experience from her time at RPID and the National Trust and is a member of Trees for Life, Reforesting Scotland and the Native Woodland Discussion Group.

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.

Stuart Foulkes

Stuart Foulkes moved to the Borders from Edinburgh in 2004. He has worked in financial services for many years and as a financial adviser in the UK and internationally since 2003. He is now the director of a local Independent Financial Advice firm. He has a long held interest in the environment and ecology, and is a member and supporter of a number of environmental charities and organisations, including The Borders Forest Trust. Stuart is currently involved in an attempt to secure some land locally as a community owned meadow & woodland. He also has experience as a trustee and treasurer for the Gattonside Village Hall Committee.

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.

James Ogilvie

Professionally, James’ 40 year forestry career includes leading roles in all elements of sustainable forest management: economic, environmental and social. He has headed up England’s largest lowland and upland forests; lead grants & licenses and social forestry policy for FC Scotland; was President of the Institute of Chartered Foresters and spent two years in community forestry in Africa. James offers a practical multi-purpose woodland management perspective, having won an RSFS award for hands-on management of his own diverse woodland in Northumberland. He is passionate about sustainable land management, particularly in the uplands and is a self-confessed lover of mountain environments. As a child he spent most weekends in the Borders, planting trees in his parents’ field, roaming the countryside and generally getting up to mischief. His published works include ‘Heritage Trees of Scotland’, ‘Adventure Holidays Worldwide’ and ‘Getting High – A World at my Feet’.

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.