Susan Davies appointed to key Scottish Wildlife Trust role

Susan Davies has been appointed as director of conservation at the Scottish Wildlife Trust. Picture: contributed

Susan Davies has been appointed as director of conservation at the Scottish Wildlife Trust. Picture: contributed

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THE Scottish Wildlife Trust charity has appointed Susan Davies as director of conservation.

Susan has many years of senior experience in nature conservation, most recently as acting chief executive of Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

Her role includes strategic management of the Edinburgh-based trust’s network of 120 wildlife reserves, as well as innovative partnerships including the Living Landscapes programme and Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels.

She said: “Working with Scottish Natural Heritage, and its predecessor bodies, for more than 25 years has been a challenging and rewarding experience.

“However, the time was right for a change and I’m thrilled to be moving to the third sector and to join Scotland’s leading wildlife charity.

“The trust has the vision and the big ideas that are needed to address the significant challenges facing nature today.

“Not least the ability to work with local communities and land managers to improve the quality of nature at a local and landscape scale.

“In today’s fast-paced society it’s too easy to forget that so many of the things that are essential for everyday life come from the nature and landscapes around us. We need to reconnect people with nature to ensure that its intrinsic, social and economic value is both understood and championed.

A graduate of St Andrews University and Aberdeen University, Susan’s early career was with the UK Joint Nature Conservation Committee in Peterborough.

She started work as an ornithologist and then undertook various roles working on the implementation of the EU Birds and Habitats Directives (Natura 2000) and the first UK Biodiversity Action Plan.

In 1999, Susan returned to Edinburgh to join Scottish Natural Heritage. Over the next few years she undertook various roles including the director of operations (north) where she led SNH’s input into the community buy-out on the Isle of Rum.

Susan has been the acting chief executive of SNH since January 2015 while current chief executive Ian Jardine was on a secondment with the European Commission in Brussels.

Jonny Hughes, chief executive of the Scottish Wildlife Trust, said: “I’ve had the great pleasure of working with Susan for over a decade in her various roles at SNH and when we sat together on the IUCN UK National Committee.

“What always impresses me about her is the way she quickly gets to the heart of any challenge and focuses on the things that will achieve positive change for species, habitats and ecosystems.

“Susan is interested in impact for nature. This is very much the culture at the Scottish Wildlife Trust and both staff and trustees are very excited to have such an excellent and well respected new member on the team.

“We all look forward to giving Susan a warm welcome.”