New chair for SNH

Environment Secretary confirms appointment.

Dr Mike Cantlay has been appointed as the chair of the board of Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) by Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham.

SNH is an executive non departmental public body which advises the Scottish Government on all aspects of nature and landscape across Scotland. Its role is to help secure the sustainable management of Scotland’s natural heritage for the benefit of all.

Ms Cunningham said:

“I am delighted to confirm Dr Mike Cantlay’s appointment to lead the work of SNH.  SNH plays an important and varied role researching and combating climate change, tackling wildlife crime, restoring our peatlands and encouraging people to get out and enjoy nature.

“Given Dr Cantlay’s previous public sector roles he will bring a wealth of experience to the organisation on how best to promote Scotland’s natural heritage and help equip SNH in responding to current and emerging challenges.  I very much look forward to working with him.”


Dr Cantlay was an inaugural member of the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority and was subsequently elected convener.  He was chair of VisitScotland from 2010 until 2016, leading the organisation through events like The Ryder Cup, The Commonwealth Games and the Year of Natural Scotland. He has served as chair of Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley, chair of the Board of Management at Forth Valley College, an advisory member of the Board of Scottish Enterprise and Board Member of VisitBritain based in London.

Dr Cantlay is currently chair of Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd which is responsible for 11 airports across Scotland and chairman and managing director of William Glen Limited which operates tourism, leisure and retail interests in Scotland, Canada and the USA. He and his family live beside Callander, Perthshire where they tend a small country estate consisting of grazing farmland, woodland, and a stretch of the River Teith. Dr Cantlay was awarded Public Sector Leader of the Year at the Scottish Leadership Awards 2012 and was made an OBE in 2014 for services to tourism.

The appointment is for three years from 15 May 2017 until 14 May 2020.  The chair receives a daily fee of £335.00 for a time commitment of 10 days per month.  The appointment is regulated by the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland.

Dr Cantlay is chair of the Board of Highlands and Islands Airports Limited.  The appointment is part-time and attracts remuneration of £22,320 per annum for a minimum of six days per month.

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process.  However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity within the last five years (if there is any to be declared) to be made public.  Dr Cantlay has had no political activity in the last five years.


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