Public appointment: Members appointed to the Board of Cairngorms National Park Authority

Public appointments news release.

The Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, Ms Slater, today announced the appointment of Sandy Bremner, Peter Cosgrove, Hannah Grist and Steve Micklewright as Members of Cairngorms National Park Authority.


Sandy Bremner is Chair of the River Dee Trust conservation charity which is helping deliver one of the biggest nature-restoration projects in the Cairngorms. He launched the scheme to plant a million native trees along the Dee's riverbanks to provide cooling shade against rising water temperatures which are already harming the area's wildlife. The project involved close collaboration with conservation bodies, land managers, and the people who live and work in the UK's biggest national park. Sandy's work at the charity follows a distinguished career as an award-winning journalist, with a long-standing fascination for how public policies affect nature and people. During nearly 30 years as a reporter and editor at BBC Scotland, he also helped deliver major media-freedom projects in Myanmar and Turkey. In his free time, Sandy is a keen hillwalker and fly-fisher.

Peter Cosgrove has lived and worked in the Cairngorms since 1998 and knows the national park very well. He has a wide breath of public, private and third sector experience on land-use and biodiversity conservation in the national park. He has worked with many of the key partners for decades and has a clear understanding of the urgent biodiversity conservation issues that underpin the current Cairngorms National Park Partnership Plan. Much of Peter’s work has sought to demonstrate and communicate that climate change threatens livelihoods and important biodiversity across the Cairngorms, and it requires urgent action from many individuals, businesses, and organisations across the park and beyond to tackle the climate crisis effectively.

Hannah Grist is a Lecturer in Socio-Environmental Systems at Scotland’s Rural College, and Deputy Programme Director of the University of Edinburgh MSc in Environmental Management and Protection. She is a researcher in ecology and the environment, with experience in conservation and climate change. She also has a strong background in science communication, stakeholder engagement and citizen science, interested in how people create, learn and benefit from scientific knowledge and understanding. Hannah is a community action researcher and teaches participatory methods, so is driven to develop positive relationships to connect and protect our landscapes. A keen mountain wanderer, she is passionate about the nature and heritage of the Cairngorms.

Steve Micklewright is an ecologist and has worked in nature conservation for over thirty years. He has a diverse range of experience including working as a botanical surveyor in south west England, undertaking community led wildlife projects and campaigns in Bristol and campaigning against illegal bird hunting in Malta. He is currently CEO of Trees for Life and Convenor of the Scottish Rewilding Alliance. He lives close to the National Park and aims to bring his diverse experience in nature conservation, community development as well as the recent pioneering work of Trees for Life to support the strategy and plans of the national park, especially with regard to nature restoration and its benefit to the community.


The appointments will be for four years. Sandy Bremner, Hannah Grist and Steve Micklewright’s appointment will run from 26 May 2023 to 25 May 2027. Peter Cosgrove’s appointment will run from 8 September 2023 to 7 September 2027.

These appointments are regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.


These appointments are part-time and attract a remuneration of £228.67 per day for a time commitment of 3 days per month.

Other ministerial appointments

Sandy Bremner, Peter Cosgrove, Hannah Grist and Steve Micklewright do not hold any other public appointments.

Political activity

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.   

Sandy Bremner, Peter Cosgrove, Hannah Grist and Steve Micklewright have had no political activity within the last five years.


The Cairngorms is the UK’s largest national park at 4,528 sq km (6% of Scotland’s land mass) and is home to one quarter of the UK’s rare and endangered species. Around 18,000 people live in the National Park across the areas of Aberdeenshire, Angus, Highland, Moray, Perth and Kinross, with two million visitors enjoying this special place every year.. The Cairngorms National Park Authority was set up to ensure that the unique aspects of the Cairngorms – both the natural environment and the local communities – are cared for, sustained and enhanced for current and future generations to enjoy. The Park Authority leads the collaboration needed to deliver all four aims of the park, providing leadership to all those involved in the Cairngorms and working in partnership with a range of communities, businesses, non-government organisations and public sector partners to deliver practical solutions on the ground.

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