SLE enhances policy & public affairs team with four new appointments

Lindsay Duncan, Simon Ovenden, Paul Richardson and Andrew Henderson

FOUR new staff appointments have been made by Scottish Land & Estates (SLE) to boost its policy and public affairs team.

Lindsay Duncan, Simon Ovenden, Paul Richardson and Andrew Henderson have joined SLE’s headquarters team at its base in Musselburgh and will each play a role in advising members and influencing public policy and legislation to help ensure communities, jobs, housing and nature all thrive in rural Scotland.

Lindsay will advise on rural business and property issues for SLE after joining the organisation from Strutt & Parker where he worked as a graduate land agent in their Banchory and Canterbury offices. He holds an MSc in Rural Estate Management from the Royal Agricultural University as well as a Master of Arts (Hons) degree from the University of Aberdeen.

Joining SLE to advise on access and visitor management, Simon has a wealth of experience in land management across the UK. Since relocating to Scotland in 2013, Simon has been general manager for the National Trust for Scotland’s Aberdeenshire portfolio and most recently was countryside manager for Crown Estate Scotland’s Glenlivet Estate.

Paul, meanwhile, joins SLE to advise members on agriculture and climate change issues. Paul served as an officer in the British Army and has gained experience working in investment management, land agency and practical farming since leaving service. In his spare time, Paul enjoys country pursuits and is also a director with the Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET) in the Scottish Borders.

Finally, Andrew joins SLE to add to the organisation’s public affairs team. He joins SLE with almost a decade’s worth of experience working for parliamentarians, most recently as Head of Office to Alex Neil, who stepped down as an MSP in May.

Stephen Young, Head of Policy at Scottish Land & Estates, said: “Lindsay, Simon, and Paul are great additions to the SLE policy team and we look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead. There is no shortage of high-profile land issues in Scotland such as support for agriculture, tackling climate change, recovery from the pandemic, and matters around flytipping and responsible access. Our new colleagues will ensure that SLE members continue to receive the best advice and ensure their views and concerns are reflected in discussions with politicians and policymakers.”

Lindsay said: “Rural Scotland has played a vital role in helping the nation during the pandemic whether it be providing food for us to eat, creation of clean energy to managing leisure and recreation spaces. I’m pleased to be able to help these businesses as we hopefully move towards greater normality.”

Simon added: “Scotland has some of the most beautiful and welcoming rural areas in the world and SLE members are at the heart of delivering this for local communities, domestic visitors, and tourists from abroad. Scottish Land & Estates advises businesses on access and attracting visitors to ensure estates can provide economic benefit to their area whilst doing so safely and sustainably.”

Paul said: “The next decade is going to see a significant period of transition in Scottish agriculture, particularly with a new support system to replace the Common Agricultural Policy and a focus on farming’s help towards meeting our net-zero targets. It is important that agriculture is given the assistance it needs to adapt and SLE will play a significant role in ensuring the sector’s voice is heard.”

Andrew said: “The contribution of estates, landowners and rural businesses to Scotland’s prosperity and wellbeing is crucial when considering the drive to cut carbon emissions, to keep developing our food and drink sector and to ensure rural communities are vibrant places to live and work. Parliamentarians are already aware of the positive impact of these businesses and our role is to help influence and inform so that future policy can help SLE members keep delivering over the next decade and beyond.”

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