Who We Are

Community Land Scotland is made up of its members which staff and Directors (below) work to represent.

Ian A Hepburn – Chair

Ian trained as an accountant and has worked as a project manager in a variety of industries from Heavy Engineering to Logistics. He fulfilled a long held ambition of moving to Mull in 2006 and was employed as  Development Manager for North West Mull Community Woodland Company from September 2008 until April 2014. Ian is now a Director of NWMCWC Ltd and was, until recently, a Director of the Community Woodlands Association>He has a continuing keen interest in community ownership and Land Reform.

Development Manager, Linsay Chalmers

As Development Manager, Linsay’s role is to promote and FullSizeRenderencourage the take up of community land ownership across Scotland and support peer-to-peer learning and networking among community landowners. Linsay previously worked for Edinburgh Social Enterprise Network where she developed the Buy the Good Stuff social enterprise brand and ran Scotland’s first social enterprise festival. Prior to that, Linsay spent nine years working for the Community Resources Network Scotland supporting community reuse organisations across Scotland.

Administration & Events Officer, Susan Ashcroft

Susan was born in Gourock, moving back to the area 2 years ago with her husband after 32 years in Wigan, Lancashire where she worked for Shearings Holidays in brochure production and travel photography. She has worked in the music business for over 20 years beginning as a journalist/photographer and progressing to band manager, booking agent, tour manager and consultant. Susan is looking forward to a new challenge with Community Land Scotland as Events Administrator and to helping members with their enquiries.

Policy Director, Calum MacLeod

Calum acts as our Policy Director on a self-employed, part-time basis.  He is a sustainable development consultant and academic, having taught postgraduate Masters courses on ‘Political Ecology’ and ‘Human Dimensions of Environmental Change and Sustainability’ at the University of Edinburgh.  In 2010 Calum led post-legislative scrutiny of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 on behalf of the Scottish Parliament.  He is a board member of the Harris Tweed Authority.
(Photo courtesy of Highlands and Islands Enterprise)

Kristina Nitsolova, Urban Development Officer

Kristina’s role is to raise awareness of urban community ownership, to work with communities in Scotland’s towns and cities  and explore how communities can be supported at a practical and strategic level to buy urban land. Kristina has a background in community development and enterprise, sustainable food and climate change campaigning as well as research. Kristina is a co-director of Propagate C.I.C, a social enterprise consultancy working in the community food and enterprise sector. She is also on the board of trustees of Take One Action Film Festivals. Prior to that, Kristina facilitated the formation of Scotland’s first Ethnic Minority Environmental Network at CEMVO Scotland to add the voice of minority ethnic communities to strategic conversations about climate change and sustainable development in Scotland.

Community Land Scotland Board of Directors

Angela Williams

Angela is the Development Manager for the Knoydart Foundation. She moved to Knoydart from the North of England in 2001, two years after the community buyout. Since joining the Knoydart Foundation she has been involved with housing, hydro electricity, running a bunkhouse, establishing a ranger service and land management. Angela is also a Director of rural Housing Scotland.

David Cameron

David lives on the Isle of Harris and is involved in a variety of businesses on the island. A strong believer in the concept of community landownership where the people are in favour, theory was put into practice by his involvement in the community purchase of North Harris in 2003 and its subsequent development. This has led to an equally strong belief that land reform is essential in a 21st Century Scotland with a re-balancing of landownership leading to a fairer, more socially just nation with the consequence of reversing decline in many fragile areas. He  has served as a director of Community Energy Scotland.

Agnes Rennie

Agnes lives with her family in Galson on the croft originally allocated to her Grandfather after WW1. She has been on the board of Urras AgnesOighreachd Ghabhsainn since the estate was purchased by the community in 2007 and currently serves as chair. She has had a long involvement in community development both professionally and as a volunteer member of many local and national bodies. She served as Crofters Commissioner for ten years from 1992 and as councillor with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar for a five year term.  She is currently manager of the publishing company Acair.

Lincoln Richford

Lincoln trained in Sales and Marketing working in a variety of industries from Ball & Roller Bearings to Pharmaceuticals, Clothing, Food and Wine and, for the last three decades, running his own businesses. Among many interests History features highly, leading to a realisation of just how important Land Ownership is in human development. Scotland is a very exciting place to be as Land Reform begins to quietly transform communities across the Country. Lincoln moved to Wanlockhead in 2006 became involved with the Local museum and later Lowther Heritage who work to preserve the history of the area and he currently Chairs Wanlockhead Community Trust.

Mike Staples

Mike Staples is Chief Executive of Dumfries and Galloway Small Communities Housing Trust, a rural housing body that provides support to community-led housing projects and aims to facilitate an increase in affordable housing supply in rural communities across the region.  Mike has worked with the Trust for four years, having moved home with his family to rural Dumfriesshire.  Previously he worked on the strategic planning and delivery of regeneration projects across the UK, both in the public and private sectors.  Most recently he worked on the Transformational Regeneration Area programme of housing renewal across Glasgow.  Mike lives in the village of Moniaive and has four sons between the ages of 16 and 2.

Ailsa Raeburn

Ailsa is a Chartered Surveyor based in Argyll with many years experience in property development, management and regeneration. As Head of the Community Assets Team at Highlands and Island Enterprise, she was responsible for the development and management of the Scottish Land Fund, in partnership with Big Lottery Scotland, and on behalf of Scottish Government. She was also responsible for a team of advisers across Scotland who worked with community enterprises to develop and deliver transformational asset based projects. She is particularly interested in the challenges of establishing and growing community enterprises in rural areas, especially those addressing regeneration and repopulation objectives.  Supporting the development of new ideas and ambitions as well as enabling existing community enterprises to scale up is vital in some of our remotest and fragile communities. There is no longer an expectation that the government or local authority will step in. Rather that the community needs to use its own people, skills, natural and cultural heritage and built assets to solve its own problems.  Community asset based enterprise is a mainstream, tried and tested model to deliver this. She strongly believes that extending this model into addressing some of the pressing issues facing urban communities is an exciting new direction for community land ownership.