Our Team

Steve and Brin at the launch event

Steve Allen
Steve spent 30 years as a police officer in various parts of the UK, including Bristol, London and Edinburgh. He held a number of senior positions including latterly as Deputy Chief Constable of Police Scotland and Security Director for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

His professional passions have always been realising leadership potential in others, equality, diversity and social justice and making public services responsive and accountable to the people they serve.

Since leaving the police he and his wife spend time learning the skills needed to make their plot productive, and meeting the various needs of a St Bernard, a Bulldog, a rescue cat called Harris and two old Land Rovers.

Steve joins the team as a trustee at Abundant Borders

Brin Mcallister
Brin has worked as a design engineer and project manager in the energy supply industry for almost 30 years, with a particular interests in control systems and renewable energy. He will soon be retiring to the Scottish Borders, and is looking forward to becoming involved in local community projects, and to spend some of his spare time gaining new knowledge and skills. Brin enjoys outdoor activities, and likes to keep fit by walking, running, martial arts, and taking part in various challenges such as the Tough Mudder.

When in the Borders with his partner, three greyhounds, two cats (and four goldfish) he helps in growing many of their own vegetables and creating a new garden in what was once a grass field. His partner describes him as a reluctant gardener but he enjoys seeing the end results of their work and is keen to learn and to make their garden more productive.

Brin looks forward to sharing his experience, knowledge and enthusiasm with others, and relishes the opportunity to support practical local sustainable development in this area, to learn more about permaculture and to help make a difference locally.

Brin joins the team as a Trustee of Abundant Borders.

Jean Gray
Jean is Operations Director at Berwickshire Housing Association (BHA). Jean is an experienced Director Of Operations with a demonstrated history of working in the non-profit organization management industry and is skilled in Business Planning, Customer Service, Coaching, Communication, and Strategic Planning.

Jean also brings great knowledge of the Scottish Borders and the particular challenges faced by communities and people living in the region.

Karen Birch
Karen 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 Co-operative Development Scotland and Glasgow Women’s Aid and is currently a member of the BBC Trust Audience Council for Scotland, Chair of Glasgow Women’s Library and Media and Communications Director of Scottish Women’s Football.

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

Annie Casey
Annie 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 a Director with Reforesting Scotland.

Annie is supporting Abundant Borders on a voluntary basis as Treasurer and managing the administration of the organisation.

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 and Ayton at the start of 2017.