Staff members

Steve Micklewright
Chief Executive Officer

Steve is responsible for leading and managing Trees for Life so it continues to be one of the most innovative and dynamic organisations involved in forest restoration and rewilding.

Doug Gilbert
Dundreggan Operations Manager

Doug oversees the management of Dundreggan. Planning new planting areas, implementing the Estate’s Deer and Forest Management Plans, liaising with visiting experts and contractors and welcoming volunteers to Dundreggan Lodge are all part of his job.

Alan McDonnell
Programme Development Manager

Alan is responsible for delivering our programme of major projects. These include all aspects of habitat and species recovery, plus other environmental initiatives, from concept to scoping, feasibility, delivery and review.

Chris Aldridge
Head of Fundraising and Marketing

Chris is responsible for our communications and fundraising activity, working to ensure that individuals, communities and organisations are inspired to help rewild the Scottish Highlands.

Tomas Loyante Barea
Head of Finance and Systems

Tomas is responsible for the financial management of Trees for Life, ensuring best practice is achieved and the charity is fully accountable for its financial decisions.

Paul Greaves
Skills for Rewilding Training Programme Manager

Paul is responsible for the management of the National Lottery Heritage Funded Skills for Rewilding project, ensuring trainees have the chance to learn new skills in horticulture, forestry, community engagement and deer and estate management.

Allan Common
Dundreggan Deer Manager

Allan is responsible for managing the deer at Dundreggan. He also helps with conservation projects, construction and maintenance of buildings and equipment.

Jill Hodge 
Dundreggan Nursery Manager

Jill manages the tree nursery and helps organise tree planting and other volunteer tasks at Dundreggan. She also welcomes visitors who come to plant trees and hear about the work of Trees for Life.

Fiona Holmes
Caledonian Pinewood Recovery Project Manager

Fiona manages the Caledonian Pinewood Recovery project. She especially focuses on building relationships with landowners to help increase the ecological management of pinewoods in private ownership.

Laura Miller
People and Resources Manager

Laura makes sure everyone at Trees for Life is safe, supported and happy in their work. She leads on HR, health and safety, and organisational policy and development. Laura helps link our different teams together, and ensures the organisation has everything, and everyone, it needs.

Becky Priestley 
Red Squirrel Project Manager

Becky runs our Red Squirrel Reintroduction Project. She carries out habitat assessments, liaises with land owners and, most importantly, sources, catches and moves red squirrels to establish new populations.

Cait Gillespie
Fundraising and Marketing Officer

Cait helps promote the work of Trees for Life, supporting communications and project appeals. She also answers queries from the public, and helps run our social media channels.

Catherine Faulkner 
Partnerships Manager – Corporates

Catherine works with businesses that are passionate about supporting rewilding in the Scottish Highlands. Her role includes creating partnerships with companies that want to give back to nature and engage their staff with our key activities.

Sarah Kent
Partnerships Manager – Trusts and Foundations

Sarah is responsible for securing funding from charitable trusts and foundations. Her role includes providing feedback to funders about how their donations are helping to rewild the Scottish Highlands.

Laurelin Cummins-Fraser
Director – Dundreggan Rewilding Centre

Laurelin is responsible for the development of the new Rewilding Centre, which will open in 2022. She will oversee day-to-day operations and its staff, ensuring its financial sustainability and meeting objectives to benefit surrounding communities, promote local heritage and engage a wider audience with rewilding.

Kat Murphy
Rewilding Centre Education Manager

Kat is responsible for the development and delivery of educational programming at the new Rewilding Centre. She will build relationships within the educational and wider communities, and support the overall visitor experience so that a larger, more diverse audience can benefit from connecting with natural and cultural heritage.

James Rainey
Senior Ecologist

James ensures the work of Trees for Life is built on sound ecological foundations. His research and fieldwork helps guide our rewilding activities, and influences the land management practices we advocate. James is currently surveying Caledonian pinewoods on land managed by Forestry and Land Scotland.

Tom Gilpin 
Conservation Week Coordinator

Tom is responsible for running our volunteer Conservation Week programme. He manages the Conservation Week Guides and ensure the vehicles, accommodation and food is organised for the weeks. He plans the work to be done too.

Abbey Goff 
Dundreggan Nursery Supervisor
Abbey oversees the day-to-day work at the tree nursery. She leads on all aspects of propagation, from sowing seeds through to planting out young trees in beds, and also works with Tree Nursery Week volunteers.
Emma Beckinsale 
Seasonal Nursery Assistant
Emma assists in the running of the tree nursery at Dundreggan. She helps with all aspects of nursery work including aspen propagation, seed sowing, and planting out young trees, working with the many volunteers that come on our Tree Nursery Weeks.
Kasia Czuj
Finance and Data Officer

Kasia supports the effective stewardship of our financial resources by participating in the management of the financial administration, governance and IT systems.

Nayan Mistry
Accounts Assistant

Nayan works in the Trees for Life finance team. He keeps track of our charitable income and outgoings, making sure people are paid, financial records are up-to-date, and the books are balanced. Nayan provides support across the organisation.

Anna Renusch
Accounts Assistant

Anna works in the Trees for Life finance team. She keeps track of our charitable income and outgoings, making sure people are paid, financial records are up-to-date, and the books are balanced. Anna mostly provides support for the Rewilding Centre.

Sue Sim
Executive Support Officer

Sue provides high-level assistance to our Chief Executive Officer, Steve, the Board of Trustees and our Senior Management team, so they can focus on leading the organisation.  Sue also acts as Company Secretary. She oversees that Trees for Life adheres to all its governance duties and responsibilities.

Carol MacDonald
Supporter Coordinator

Carol is the first voice many people hear when they call Trees for Life. She takes calls and greets visitors, while also processing orders, corresponding with donors and maintaining our database.

Board members

Nigel Fraser
Chair

Nigel is a Partner in the firm of Rural Property Consultants, Strutt & Parker. A Chartered Surveyor, Nigel is a land agent who manages a number of estates across the Highlands and has particular expertise in renewable energy. Nigel also manages a tourism and property business with his family in Strathglass.

Peter Cairns

Peter Cairns is a nature photographer, filmmaker and writer with over 20 years’ of professional experience. Co-founder of conservation media projects such as Tooth & Claw, Wild Wonders of Europe and 2020VISION, Peter is now Director of SCOTLAND: The Big Picture, a social enterprise dedicated to communicating the potential of a wilder Scotland. Peter is a Senior Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers.

Carol Evans

Carol spent 10 years as Director for Scotland for the Woodland Trust. Partnership working was a big driver for Carol at the Trust, and motivated her to join the board of Trees for Life on retirement in 2021. Before the Woodland Trust, Carol was Director for Scotland and Northern Ireland for the National Autistic Society, and Director of UK Operations for Help the Aged. A graduate of Stirling University, Carol initially worked for the Civil Service in London. She is passionate about wildlife, wild land and better care of our precious environment.

David Hetherington

David has been an Ecology Advisor for the Cairngorms National Park Authority since 2005. He completed a PhD from Aberdeen University on “The feasibility of reintroducing the Eurasian lynx to Scotland” and was Project Manager of the Cairngorms Wildcat Project for three years.

Matthieu Hommel

A member of the Institute of Chartered Foresters, Matt currently operates as a specialist Forestry Consultant and Fabricator based near Elgin. Matt is a professional forester and has previously held roles with Smiths-Gore, UPM-Tilhill and spent the last 12 years as Managing Director of Christie-Elite Nurseries one of the UK’s best known growers of forest trees.

Jane Cumming

Jane moved to the Highlands as Head of Corporate Relations at the North of Scotland Water Authority. She subsequently built and grew her Beauly based PR company into one of the largest independent PR firms in Scotland. She sold her business in 2015 but continues to work part-time as well as helping establish a family run tourism business. She’s a Fellow and Chartered Practitioner of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and a Fellow of the SCDI (Scottish Council for Development and Industry).

Jane Gill

Jane is an experienced Board Advisor, Non-Executive, Chair and Pension Trustee. She has worked within multi-national blue-chip and privately owned companies as well as in Charity, Arts and Education.  Jane has expertise in managing large scale Digital, Finance, Engineering and Regulatory projects and as a chartered accountant, has held senior roles in Finance and in Project Management.   Jane is passionate about Scotland and the outdoors enjoying hillwalking, mountaineering, cycling, skiing and being on the water.