Board Members

Partnership Board

 Dr Chris Miles (Convenor)
ln May 2O17 I retired as area manager in Southern Scotland for Scottish Natural Heritage after 18 years in that role and 24 years with SNH. My area covered Borders and D&G.

The work included the delivery of protected site work, development advice, support for land management through SRDP or management agreements, the management of National Nature Reserves and working with partners in delivering Biodiversity, the Biosphere, Landscape partnerships, biodiversity recording, and environmental education and interpretation.

Before coming to Scotland in 1993 I worked for 7 years with the Essex Wildlife Trust as conservation manager. Before that I had worked at the University of Reading firstly taking an MSc in Plant Taxonomy and then completing a PhD on the reproductive strategies of Bryophytes.

I am a botanist and have been the Botanical Society of Britain and lrelands (BSBI) recorder in Dumfriesshire for 20 years with principle responsibility for mapping the changes to the distribution of wild plants in the county. This involves carrying out targeted recording through the summer, data entry and organising occasional field meetings. I was formerly chair of the Scottish Committee. I sat on a review group for BSBI in 2016/17 and am standing to become a Board member later in 2O17. l recently completed a rare plant register for Dumfriesshire which is published online.

I chair the Hutton Community Fellowship which is a group set up in Boreland to handle the distribution of wind farm community benefit funds and deliver benefits to the local community. With more schemes coming forward locally I will also be a Director of the proposed SCIO managing the community benefits from the Ewe Hill Wind Farm.

I am married with 2 grown up children.


 Katie Hagmann was elected to Dumfries and Galloway Council in May 2017 for Mid Galloway and Wigtown West and was subsequently appointed to the board of SUP.

“Originally from Edinburgh, I moved to Dumfries and Galloway in 2006. I have a BSc degree in complementary therapies from Napier University and was extremely fortunate to receive a full horticulture training from the late, plantsman Michael Wickenden at Cally Gardens. Our environment and our interaction within it has always been at the forefront of my ideals.
I am very much involved in the community and have previously been a trustee and founding member of a charity involving Nomadic communities across the Himalayas. As well as other roles, I am also a board member of the GSA Biosphere and a member of the outdoor access forum which in conjunction with SUP allows me a greater understanding of the whole region allowing me to approach projects from a holistic view point.
In the very little free time I have, I am a keen mountain biker which is a wonderful way to help achieve that elusive work/life balance”.   


Bridie Ashrowan
is Chief Executive of the Broomhouse Centre & Enterprises, which is a community based organisation which serves Broomhouse while also bringing services to the SW of Edinburgh, and on some projects, the city of Edinburgh. Vintage Vibes, a partnership with LifeCare to address isolation in older people, is city wide; Youth Befriending, Young Carers, Youth Counselling, Beacon Club Dementia Service, Employment Training – all South West Edinburgh; a catering social enterprise, Crescent Kitchen, works across the whole city. Bridie’s background has been in the Youth sector recently; as Chief Officer at YouthBorders, her team won the national Innovation Award, YouthLink Awards 2015. She is a Tutor with the Social Enterprise Academy. She has worked with organisations such as Columba 1400, ProjectScotland and Borders Forest Trust, where she was Fundraising manager on the successful Devil’s Beef Tub land acquisition campaign. 25 years ago Bridie co-founded an innovative drug & alcohol charity, Open Road, in Essex, with an holistic approach. It operates across East Anglia today. Bridie is originally from near Enniskillen, N Ireland.


Mark Rowley

Mark’s route to the Southern Upland Partnership is representing Scottish Borders Council as the newly-elected councillor for Mid-Berwickshire. He is also SBC’s Executive Member for Business and Economic Development, where  Broadband & digital connectivity, tourism, sustainable development and housing fall into his remit. A happy co-incidence is that he now chairs the South of Scotland Alliance.

He’s currently working on Scottish Borders’ engagement with the new South of Scotland Enterprise Agency, building the case for the wider Borderlands initiative across five Borderlands local authorities and advocating extension of the Borders Railway.

Aside from politics, Mark’s empathy with SUP comes as an upland-dweller. Since making his home in Longformacus, at the heart of the Lammermuirs Hills Special Landscape Area, he has been a vocal advocate for the Lammermuirs and upland life generally. Having chaired a particularly-active Community Council, and promoted civic and amenity groups, he’s developed an understanding of the challenges of lobbying on rural issues.

His professional experience is largely in tourism; developing experiences, project-managing and promoting some of Scotland’s highest-profile hospitality businesses.

Spare time is consumed by the challenges of walking his terriers along the Southern Upland Way and attempting to grow vegetables organically at almost 800 feet.


Prof. Dave Roberts

Dave is Professor of Dairy Farming Systems and Knowledge Exchange Director at SRUC. He has worked in Dumfries and Galloway for over 35 years and has a particular interest in ensuring that we have a competitive agri-food industry which also meets high environmental and animal welfare standards. In addition to work in the UK he has been involved in the development of dairy farming training and education in Malawi working with colleagues at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources. He is Scottish Regional Chairman for LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) having been a Trustee from 2009 to 2014.

Dave is also a Trustee of the Crichton Foundation and also of the Hannah Dairy Research Foundation.


 Sarah Macdonald

Sarah started her working life in London in jobs which included the promotion of the Volunteer Reserve Forces and later as the Marketing Manager for the Olympia International Show Jumping and the Royal Tournament. Exciting and educational jobs; but after 10 years, city life no longer appealed.

She arrived in the Scottish Borders to start her first job coordinating The Land of Creativity, a programme of events, trails and promotions to celebrate the Millennium. That was the first of many projects in which she was involved that linked tourism and the local community.  It was supported by agencies including VisitScotland, Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Borders Council, and funding organizations including the Millennium Fund.

Subsequently, she has been involved in event and project management; including LEADER funded projects: the New Ways Events Innovation Scheme and the Tweed Valley Tourist Consortium.  These projects, along with direct employment with Floors Castle and Traquair House, have cemented her experience and links within the Tourist Industry, the local event infrastructure and our local communities.

Along the way, although not strictly a project, she has become part of a farming family, a rural community and has three children that call the Scottish Borders home!


 Dr Joan Mitchell

Joan is an active partner in family upland farm at Carsluith, near Newton Stewart; trustee and chair of Galloway &Southern Ayrshire Partnership Board; chair Newton Stewart Walking Festival.

Joan’s academic background is in Biogeography with a Phd in bracken ecology

Joan was elected councillor Dumfries & Galloway Council from 1994-2007 with periods as deputy leader of the council and chair Planning & Environment. Other councillor roles included chair D&G Access Forum and involvements with European Committees such as EU Committee of the Regions.

She has previously served on board of Southern Upland Partnership including period as chair.

She is also a former chair of Dumfries & Galloway Tourist Board

Board member of Scottish Natural Heritage 2007-2013 including period as chair Scientific Advisory Committee

Served for ten years on South of Scotland Forestry Advisory Committee, served on Forestry Commission panel assessing applications for community ownership

Former trustee Cree Valley Community Woodlands