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...

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...

Leanne Gordon

Legal Advisor

Leanne joined Scottish Land and Estates in June 2022 as our Legal Advisor. Having completed a BA in Business Studies at Napier University, Leanne went on to complete the LLB and Diploma in Legal Practice at the University of Edinburgh before qualifying as a solicitor in 2012. Leanne spent her early legal career in Perthshire before...

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

Senior Policy Advisor

Tim Baynes joined SLE in 2012 originally as Director of the Scottish Moorland Group (SMG), and later as Director of Moorland when the SMG became fully integrated into SLE. This role found Tim specialising in moorland management, particularly grouse moors and related sporting and conservation issues. He managed the Gift of Grouse campaign...

Ross Ewing

Director of Moorland

Ross was appointed as Director of Moorland at Scottish Land & Estates in July 2022. Ross, who lives near Comrie in rural Perthshire, previously worked as public affairs manager for the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) in Scotland. He successfully represented the interests of shooting and country sports in the...

Karen Ramoo

Policy Advisor (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 Advisor (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 Advisor (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...

Sarah Madden

Policy Advisor (Rural Communities)

Sarah joined Scottish Land & Estates in October 2021. She is a graduate of the University of Stirling with a BA (Hons) in History and Politics and MSc in Human Rights and Diplomacy, delivered by the UN Institute of Training and Research. Sarah previously worked for parliamentarians in both the Scottish and Westminster Parliaments, having...