Our Team


Mike Benson
Mike is Director at Scottish Crannog Centre

Owen Roberts
Owen is an experienced trustee and community development worker

Caroline Brophy-Parkin
Caroline is Lieutenant at Hawick Corps, Salvation Army.

Jenny Haines
Jenny is Development Officer at Berwickshire Association for Voluntary Service

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.

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 at the start of 2017 and in Hawick Spring 2018.