Our Staff

In addition to demonstrating what makes our staff qualified for the important roles they playing in driving SLE forward, we also wanted to allow you the chance to learn a little more about the people behind the job titles.

Find out more about the experience and motivations of the team.

Sarah-Jane Laing

Chief Executive

Sarah-Jane was appointed as Chief Executive of Scottish Land & Estates (SLE) in December 2019, the first woman to hold this role in the organisation’s 110 year history. Sarah-Jane, who lives on the family farm in Hume in the Scottish Borders, has steadily climbed the ranks at the rural business organisation over the past fifteen years...

Joyce Karch

PA to Chief Executive

Joyce joined the organisation in 2006, having previously been employed as a legal secretary. Joyce is PA to our Executive Director, and provides support to the Chair and Vice-Chair. If you were a Scottish animal, which would you be and why? I would be a lamb – because they are young! What do very few people know about you? I like to read...

Tony Stevenson

Head of Business

Tony has been involved with the organisation since 2010, initially as a contractor arranging logistics for some of SLE’s major events, before being appointed as Head of Business in 2018. Tony works alongside our Vice Chair Operations and Executive Director to increase new business, improve member services and increase business...

Laura Butcher

Head of Communications

Laura Butcher is a chartered PR practitioner. Laura has over 15 years’ experience of working in communications in not-for-profit organisations. Over the past few years Laura was a charity trustee and board member of national environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful as well as the Lawscot Foundation which is a social mobility charity...

Stephen Young

Head of Policy

Stephen Young joined SLE in August 2019 from the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society (SAOS), where he was project manager. In his new role, Stephen is responsible for managing SLE’s policy team at its Musselburgh HQ, as well as leading development of SLE’s policy positions and guiding the provision of member advice. Stephen studied...

Marie Brown

Finance Assistant

Marie is a qualified bookkeeper (IAB) with 13 years of experience. Marie provides bookkeeping & accounts preparation for Scottish Land & Estates and looks after any member queries. If you were a Scottish animal, which would you be and why? A wildcat because I'm firery! What do very few people know about you? I sucked my finger until I was...

Tim Baynes

Director of Moorland

Tim Baynes is Director of Moorland specialising in moorland management, particularly grouse moors and related sporting and conservation issues. He manages the Gift of Grouse campaign and coordinates a network of seven regional moorland groups of owners and hill keepers, as well as an informal coalition of sporting and land management...

Jason Rust

Legal Adviser

Jason Rust read Law at the University of Strathclyde, before completing the Diploma in Legal Practice at Glasgow Graduate School of Law. He trained, and subsequently worked, as a Solicitor with Turcan Connell and then Anderson Strathern in Edinburgh. He has advised on a range of aspects of rural law, acting for landowners, owner-occupiers...

Karen Ramoo

Policy Adviser (Forestry, Conservation & Wildlife Management)

Karen joined Scottish Land & Estates from Scottish Natural Heritage where she was involved in ensuring the positive management of areas designated for their habitats, species and geological interest. Prior to this, Karen worked on the Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels Project where she developed landowner and volunteer engagement to protect...

Simon Ovenden

Policy Adviser (Access and Visitor Management)

At the age of 14 Simon secured his first job on a farm in Kent during the school summer holidays. Since then he has consistently worked in the rural industries and estate management sectors. Based at the White Cliffs of Dover for many years, he managed all National Trust countryside locations across Kent and South East London, welcoming...

Paul Richardson

Policy Adviser (Agriculture & Climate Change)

Paul joined Scottish Land and Estates in July 2021. Growing up in Northumberland, Paul was first introduced to agriculture by his late grandfather, before choosing to pursue a career as a British Army Officer. On leaving regular service and settling with his wife in the Scottish Borders, he has gained experience working in investment...

Lindsay Duncan

Policy Adviser (Rural Business & Property)

Lindsay joined Scottish Land and Estates in January 2021 after previously working for Strutt & Parker as a Graduate Land Agent in their Banchory and Canterbury offices. During his time at Strutt & Parker, Lindsay helped research and implement diversification projects for clients’ estates, as well as managing rural residential property...