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New board members for Park Authority announced by Scottish Government

1st June 2023

The Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, Ms Slater, has announced the appointment of Sandy Bremner, Peter Cosgrove, Hannah Grist and Steve Micklewright as Members of Cairngorms National Park Authority.

Sandy Bremner is Chair of the River Dee Trust conservation charity which is helping deliver one of the biggest nature-restoration projects in the Cairngorms. He launched the scheme to plant a million native trees along the Dee’s riverbanks to provide cooling shade against rising water temperatures which are already harming the area’s wildlife. The project involved close collaboration with conservation bodies, land managers, and the people who live and work in the UK’s biggest national park. Sandy’s work at the charity follows a distinguished career as an award-winning journalist, with a long-standing fascination for how public policies affect nature and people. During nearly 30 years as a reporter and editor at BBC Scotland, he also helped deliver major media-freedom projects in Myanmar and Turkey. In his free time, Sandy is a keen hillwalker and fly-fisher.

Peter Cosgrove has lived and worked in the Cairngorms since 1998 and knows the national park very well. He has a wide breath of public, private and third sector experience on land-use and biodiversity conservation in the national park. He has worked with many of the key partners for decades and has a clear understanding of the urgent biodiversity conservation issues that underpin the current Cairngorms National Park Partnership Plan. Much of Peter’s work has sought to demonstrate and communicate that climate change threatens livelihoods and important biodiversity across the Cairngorms, and it requires urgent action from many individuals, businesses, and organisations across the park and beyond to tackle the climate crisis effectively.

Hannah Grist is a Lecturer in Socio-Environmental Systems at Scotland’s Rural College, and Deputy Programme Director of the University of Edinburgh MSc in Environmental Management and Protection. She is a researcher in ecology and the environment, with experience in conservation and climate change. She also has a strong background in science communication, stakeholder engagement and citizen science, interested in how people create, learn and benefit from scientific knowledge and understanding. Hannah is a community action researcher and teaches participatory methods, so is driven to develop positive relationships to connect and protect our landscapes. A keen mountain wanderer, she is passionate about the nature and heritage of the Cairngorms.

Steve Micklewright is an ecologist and has worked in nature conservation for over thirty years. He has a diverse range of experience including working as a botanical surveyor in south west England, undertaking community led wildlife projects and campaigns in Bristol and campaigning against illegal bird hunting in Malta. He is currently CEO of Trees for Life and Convenor of the Scottish Rewilding Alliance. He lives close to the National Park and aims to bring his diverse experience in nature conservation, community development as well as the recent pioneering work of Trees for Life to support the strategy and plans of the national park, especially with regard to nature restoration and its benefit to the community.

Xander McDade, Convener of the Cairngorms National Park Authority board said: “I would like to congratulate Sandy, Hannah, Pete and Steve on being appointed to the Board of the Cairngorms National Park Authority. They each bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience in a variety of areas, which will prove extremely valuable to our work here in the Park, ensuring that nature and people can thrive together.”

The appointments will be for four years. Sandy Bremner, Hannah Grist and Steve Micklewright’s appointment will run from 26 May 2023 to 25 May 2027. Peter Cosgrove’s appointment will run from 8 September 2023 to 7 September 2027.

These appointments are regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.