Scottish Land & Estates has boosted its policy expertise with the appointment of two new staff members.
Rebekah Strong joins the organisation in the newly created role of environment assistant whilst Emma Steel starts work at SLE as a policy assistant to support the team in political, stakeholder and member engagement.
The new additions to the organisation follows five new members of staff joining SLE across its regional, business and policy functions in recent months, with further new members of the team likely to join in the months ahead.
In her new role, Rebekah will be working with policy advisors covering issues such as access, conservation, wildlife management and agriculture as well as assisting the work of the Scottish Moorland Group.
The role is planned to be a vital component in developing and maintaining research collaborations on behalf of SLE as well as reviewing literature from institutions and other organisations for the benefit of SLE members.
Rebekah joins the organisation from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) where she worked for three years as a marine protected areas advisor following roles in ecological project management. She holds a degree in Zoology from Edinburgh University and a Masters in Marine Resource Development and Protection from Heriot-Watt University.
Rebekah said: ‘The opportunity to work directly with SLE members and support the environment and conservation aspects of their businesses was a very appealing one to embark upon. Scotland’s rural areas have been experiencing significant change in recent years and it is pleasing to be able to play a positive role in shaping policy with further transformation certain in the next decade.’
Emma, meanwhile, will work across all areas of rural policy that SLE and its members are at the heart of, supporting the organisation’s activity through the production of briefings, updates and articles as well as assisting in the development of SLE campaigns and communications output. She joins SLE from a visitor role at RSPB’s Loch Garten reserve and Emma also holds a degree in Zoology and Masters in Environmental Science, both from Aberdeen University.
Emma added: ‘I’m delighted to join Scottish Land & Estates’ policy department. My family, education and work backgrounds have all equipped me with a good understanding of land management and the different perspectives that exist on this, and I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues to put forward constructive ideas that can benefit our members and rural communities as a whole.’
Sarah-Jane Laing, executive director at Scottish Land & Estates, said: ‘It is exciting to welcome both Rebekah and Emma to the organisation at a time when we have been investing heavily in our policy team.
‘This will benefit both our members and the development of rural policy more generally, with an enhanced level of knowledge and expertise which we can utilise to communicate with government and other stakeholder groups.
‘We have welcomed a number of new members of staff in recent months and we are certain both Rebekah and Emma will settle well into our growing SLE team.’