Public appointment: Members appointed to the Board of Environmental Standards Scotland

Public appointments news release

This document is part of a collection

Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero and Just Transition, Màiri McAllan MSP, today announced the appointment of Morag Sheppard and Professor Christopher Spray as Members of the Board of Environmental Standards Scotland.


Morag Sheppard has extensive experience of corporate governance, at senior management and board level, in the public and private sectors. She was until 2022, a Member of the Board of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission and latterly, Chair of its Audit and Risk Committee. She previously held a series of senior organisational governance roles in the financial sector ensuring effective performance by partner organisations and the extensive management of risk.

Professor Christopher Spray has a first-class honours degree in General Natural Sciences and a PhD in Zoology. He is Emeritus Professor of Water Science and Policy at the UNESCO Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science at the University of Dundee and brings over 35 years of experience working in a number of fields across ecology, nature conservation, water and environmental regulation. Professor Spray is currently a Member of the Board of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority. He was previously Director of Science for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, a Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of Scottish Natural Heritage, and the Chair of the UK Government’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Special Protection Areas and Ramsar sites.


The appointments are for four years and run from 7 June 2023 to 6 June 2027.

The appointments are regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.

Remuneration and time commitment

The appointments attract remuneration of £201.92 per day for a time commitment of two days per month.

Other Ministerial appointments

Ms Sheppard is an external Member of the Audit Committee of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission. She receives £31.42 per hour for a time commitment of two days per quarter.

Professor Spray is a Member of the Board of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority. He receives £217.69 per day for a time commitment of three days per month.

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.

Ms Sheppard and Professor Spray have had no political activity within the last five years.


Environmental Standards Scotland (ESS) was established in law by the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Act 2021.

ESS exists is to ensure that Scotland’s environmental laws and standards are complied with, and their effectiveness improved, to achieve Scotland’s ambitions for the environment and climate change. With the increasing awareness of the importance of the environment, ESS expects to have a high profile and to be able to make a real difference to the environment now and for future generations.

The work of ESS includes:

  • ensuring environmental laws and standards are adhered to in Scotland, replacing the European Union’s scrutiny and enforcement role after Brexit;
  • covering a broad range of environmental law, including all aspects of environmental protection and harm, particularly in relation to human beings and their enjoyment of the environment;
  • scrutinising, investigating and securing improvements in public authorities’ compliance with environmental law, the effectiveness of environmental law, and the way it is being implemented and applied in Scotland.

ESS cover all Scottish public authorities, including local authorities; health and transport authorities; the Scottish Government and its agencies; as well as organisations carrying out functions of a public nature.

Approved by the Scottish Parliament in November 2022, the ESS Strategic Plan provides an overview of how ESS will achieve the following five key deliverables over the next five years:

  • ensuring compliance and effectiveness;
  • investigating environmental concerns;
  • monitoring and analysis;
  • engaging and communicating effectively;
  • developing a high performing organisation. 
Back to top