Our Team


Mike Benson, (Chair)
Mike is an experienced executive and non-executive Director, previously with National Mining Museum and Ryedale Folk Museum, Mike is currently Director at Scottish Crannog Centre.

Shane Straughan
Shane is a past participant on both the Permaculture Foundation and the Healthy Eating courses.  Born and resident in The Scottish Borders, Shane brings local knowledge and experience to the Board of Trustees.

Rosalind McArthur, (Treasurer)
Ros is currently working in The Scottish Borders as European Maritime Fisheries Fund Coordinator. She has previously worked at senior levels in corporate banking and brings great knowledge of finance and strategy to the board.

Jenny Haines
Jenny has worked in the third sector for over 25 years. She has worked for a number of organisations including the National Deaf Children’s Society, Volunteering Scotland, Volunteering Matters, EVOC and more recent at BAVs in Duns. She has a particular interest in training, equalities work and governance.

Terri Bearhope
Terri is a volunteer management and development expert and has
previously worked for volunteer centres in both Northumberland and the
Scottish Borders. She currently heads up the BHA BeFriend project.


Karen Birch, Chief Officer (Projects)
Karen, co-founder of Abundant Borders, is an entrepreneur with a wealth of experience in creating and supporting enterprise and is actively involved in many groups seeking to promote equality and diversity.

An experienced non-executive director, Karen has held positions with BBC Trust, Audience Council for Scotland, Co-operative Development Scotland, Glasgow Women’s Aid and Scottish Women’s Football. Karen is currently Chair of Glasgow Women’s Library and trustee at BAVS (Berwickshire Action for Voluntary Service).

Karen completed her Permaculture Design Certificate in 2013 and is supporting Abundant Borders on a voluntary basis as Chief Officer.

Annie Casey, Chief Officer (Finance and Administration)
Annie, co-founder of Abundant Borders, has a strong background in public policy and community development and inclusion programmes. Most recently Annie was General Manager at Comrie Croft with responsibility for all aspects of business management and development.

Annie is a keen grower and passed her permaculture design certificate in 2013 and is currently creating a forest garden in her own home in The Scottish Borders. Annie also teaches yoga and is a qualified massage therapist and is a former Director with Reforesting Scotland.

Bill Corbett
Supported by National Lottery Community Fund, Bill joined the team as Volunteer Co-ordinator, working from the Hawick Community Food Garden.

Pete Saunders
Supported by National Lottery Community Fund, Pete joined the team as Project Co-ordinator. Pete will be supporting Growing and Cooking Courses across Berwickshire.


Kat Dunlop
Kat brings experience of evaluating and monitoring projects as well as in depth knowledge of permaculture and forest gardening. Kat will be working until the end of the year to support Sue in developing the Hawick Community Food Garden.

Graham Bell
Over the past 40 years, Graham has amassed a huge amount of knowledge in permaculture, renewables and sustainable business.

The author of two books “The Permaculture Way” and “The Permaculture Garden”, Graham’s home is Garden Cottage, which is sited in part of the old walled garden of the Lees Stables, Coldstream. It is a forest garden started from scratch twenty six years ago, and is now sufficiently mature to show the intention of its original design. As well as producing 1.25 tonnes of edible produce in 2015, the garden also produces firewood, hundreds of plants and trees a year for the Red Shed nursery, a haven for wildlife, and a general sense of well-being. For anyone interested in practical applications of permaculture principles it’s an inspiring visit.

As well as offering advice and support to Abundant Borders on a voluntary basis, Graham taught the Permaculture Foundation Course to students in Eyemouth at the start of 2017 and in Hawick Spring 2018.

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