National Volunteer Panel – Scotland

Meet the National Volunteer Panel members from Scotland:


Ian Baird


Based in Perth I’ve been a volunteer with the Woodland Trust since January 2013 and through my many roles have gained considerable knowledge and experience of the Trust’s activities and its people.


I’m passionate about native woodland and the wide benefits of volunteering in general. My other interests include my involvement with a football club supporters’ society, a local historical trust, Perth Magic Circle, cycling and hillwalking.  


I initially volunteered with the Woodland Trust having been both shocked and inspired by listening to a volunteer speaker at Rotary Club meeting in Perth. I was shocked to discover the lack of native trees in the UK and inspired by the fact that there’s a fantastic organisation dedicated to reversing the situation. I was also warmly welcomed and greatly encouraged by the staff I subsequently met in the Trust’s Perth office.


Now retired following a career in residential property development  I’m fortunate the be in a position to enjoy the freedom to be involved in woodland creation, volunteer speaking, woodland warden and working group activities, PUR monitoring and occasional ancient tree monitoring trips to amazing locations!   


I applied for the role because the purpose of the National Volunteer Panel excites me and I’m confident that my experience, knowledge and personal qualities will enable me to effectively contribute to the principal activities of the Panel. I have strong empathy for volunteers in all situations and greatly welcome the opportunity to work with and support Scotland’s Volunteer Development Officer.



Alison Stewart

I moved to Kinlochleven, near Glencoe, after taking early retirement from my role as an Environmental Manager at an industrial site in 2016. I love the outdoors and I am a keen rock climber, mountain biker, and orienteer, which was part of the reason for choosing to live in the Highlands. Kinlochleven is set in a stunning location, surrounded by mountains. Large areas of the lower slopes of the steep sided valley leading to the village is ancient woodland. Much of this is regenerated birch wood but there are also pockets of sessile oak and scots pine.  I have always had a keen interest in ecology and the environment, so this was another reason for choosing to move to this part of the Highlands.


After moving to Scotland, I wanted to use the some of the extra time I now had available to do as much as I could to help with conservation of the environment and in a small way, offset the increasing threats of climate change. I started to do active conservation work such as tree planting and path maintenance with a local organisation shortly after I moved. However, I have three dogs and I am not always able to spend full days away from home. When the opportunity arose to take on the role as a Woodlands under Threat Detector, I jumped at the chance. This enabled me to work from home at times that suited me. The role involves reviewing planning applications and identifying cases where the proposed development could be a threat to the ancient woodland. In cases where a woodland might be a risk I then write to the Council with comments or an objection. I really enjoyed the work and soon started to help out reviewing Local Development Plans produced by the Regional Councils.


It would not be possible for the Woodland Trust to carry out much of their valuable work without their volunteers and this is why I wanted to be a part of the National Volunteer Panel. I have always felt valued and supported in the work I do for the Trust and I wanted to help ensure that all volunteers have the same positive experience.


If you would like to contact Ian or Alison you can email them here:

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