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Who we are

The Scottish Land Commission is a non-departmental public body established on 1 April 2017.

The Commission has five Land Commissioners and one Tenant Farming Commissioner, all appointed by Scottish Ministers.

The organisation is based in Inverness and has a team of 17 staff led by Chief Executive Hamish Trench.

Member's Code of Conduct

Board of Commissioners


Michael Russell (Chair)

Michael Russell, served as a Scottish Government Minister and Member of the Scottish Parliament at various times between 1999 and 2021. He has had a long term involvement with land reform having been Environment Minister from 2007-2009, a member of the Scottish Parliament Committee which scrutinised the Land Reform Bill in 2015 and an MSP for the South of Scotland Region for two terms before being elected in 2011 to serve the constituency of Argyll and Bute where he has lived since 1992. He retired from representational politics in 2021, but remained SNP President until 2023. He is the author of seven books and has worked as a columnist and commentator as well as a television producer and director. He was the founder of the Celtic Media Festival, now in its 45th year, was part time Professor in Scottish Culture and Governance at the University of Glasgow (where he is now an Honorary Professor in the College of Arts & Humanities) and is the trustee of a number of charities.

Dr Bob McIntosh CBE (Tenant Farming Commissioner)

Bob is a retired public servant with extensive experience in public policy, in particular in land management and forestry, Bob was the Scottish Government Director for Environment and Forestry between 2012 and 2015, and before that served as the Director of Forestry Commission Scotland and in many other roles in the Forestry Commission.  He was a partner in a 650-acre hill farm for 15 years. He was until recently a Board Member of Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Dr Sally Reynolds (Land Commissioner)

Sally is an Agricultural Consultant (with a PhD in mathematical ecology); she recently worked, for eight years, within the Community Land Sector as Development Manager with Carloway Estate Trust (Urras Oighreachd Chàrlabhaigh). An active crofter, she contributes to a number of activities which benefit the community. She currently works, in a Business Development role, with Stornoway Port. 

Lorne MacLeod (Land Commissioner)

Lorne has had an interest, and involvement, in land reform for many years. He was a founding director and, latterly, was the Chairman of Community Land Scotland, and has been a director of the community land buyout groups in Eriskay, South Uist & Benbecula, and the Isle of Gigha. He was Highlands & Islands Enterprise’s first Director of Strengthening Communities, and prior to that was Chief Executive of Skye & Lochalsh Enterprise. He is a chartered accountant, and director of a retail and distribution business in the Isle of Skye.

Dr. Craig Mackenzie (Land Commissioner)

Dr. Craig Mackenzie, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh Business School, brings over 20 years of experience in investment management, combining financial and sustainable investment roles. In his most recent position, he led strategic asset allocation and developed climate solutions and natural capital investment funds. Over his career, Craig has shaped good practice standards on corporate environmental and social responsibility, serving on advisory boards for the Global Reporting Initiative, the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and FTSE. As an academic, he founded the Centre for Business and Climate Change (now BCCaS) at the University of Edinburgh and helped launch carbon management and climate finance MSc programs. He has a PhD in behavioural finance and has published on sustainability and corporate responsibility.

Professor Deb Roberts (Land Commissioner)

Professor Deb Roberts is Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Science at the James Hutton Institute. Deb trained as an agricultural economist and, prior to moving into her current position, her research focussed on understanding how agricultural and environmental policies affect economic development and social wellbeing in rural areas. She holds an Honorary Chair in Real Estate at the University of Aberdeen.


Hamish Trench (Chief Executive & Accountable Officer)

Hamish is Chief Executive and accountable officer of the Scottish Land Commission. He is a former chartered surveyor with experience of land use policy, management and research in the public and private sectors. His previous roles include director posts at the Cairngorms National Park Authority and Deer Commission for Scotland, and working for a national firm of property consultants. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA).


Emma Cooper (Head of Land Rights & Responsibilities)

Emma is responsible for the Land Commission’s work shaping change on the ground to ensure more people benefit from Scotland’s land by supporting the practical implementation of the Scottish Government’s Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement (LRRS).


Gemma Campbell (Land Rights and Responsibilities Manager)

Gemma Campbell is the Commission’s Land Rights and Responsibilities Manager, and focusses on helping people to embed responsible land ownership, use and management in practice. She manages a programme of engagement, guidance and advice that supports key stakeholders across all sectors to strengthen their adoption of Land Rights and Responsibilities principles in their strategy and delivery.


Karen Grant (Good Practice Adviser – Land Rights and Responsibilities)

As a Good Practice Adviser, Karen works across sectors to help embed principles of fairness, transparency, balance and opportunity into land use and land use decision-making in Scotland. This includes offering support in the form of training, advice and guidance, and working with individuals and organisations to increase understanding and alignment with the principles of the Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement.


David Stewart (Policy & Practice Lead)

David’s main areas of work are on land, housing and place. His remit at the Scottish Land Commission includes work on land assembly, placemaking, and housing land markets.

David joined the Commission from the SFHA, where he led on new build affordable housing, planning reform, energy efficiency and regeneration. Prior to that he worked for housing associations and for Edinburgh City Council on housing and regeneration.

He is a board member of Rural Housing Scotland and was previously on the board of PAS, the planning and place charity, and a community based housing association in Greenock.


James MacKessack-Leitch (Policy & Practice Lead)

James leads the Commission’s work around land and human rights, governance, and ownership. This touches upon a range of land reform issues from developing policy and legislative proposals to reform Scotland’s land market, to articulating the nature of carbon rights and what ownership means, to modernising the Common Good property regime, to improving access to land for new entrants to agriculture. James hails from a family farming background and brings broad experience from the private, public, and third sectors to his role.


Hanna Wheatley (Research & Data Analyst)

Hanna leads on the Commission’s delivery of high quality evidence and analysis by designing, conducting, and commissioning research on land reform. She previously worked as a senior researcher on land and housing for the New Economics Foundation.


Sara Smith (Events & Organisational Assistant)

Sara is responsible for supporting the delivery of successful external and internal engagement and communications including  building the reputation and increasing the profile of the Commission and the role of land reform in contributing to Scotland's success.


Caron Munro (HR & Business Support Lead)

Caron is responsible for managing and supporting the Commission’s business functions. Providing support and guidance to the organisation in HR, employee wellbeing, Data Protection, FOI, information management and board secretariat.


Claire Bremner (Finance & Business Systems Lead)

Claire is responsible for managing and supporting the Commission’s finance and business functions  to support effective operational delivery and compliance. This includes co-ordination of internal and external audit, IT and Cyber security, and ensuring the commission has appropriate corporate governance policies in place to meet its duties as an NDPB.