Board of Directors

Karen Astill

Karen moved to Dunphail in 2014 and soon volunteered for the role of secretary of Edinkillie Community Association. She currently works for NHS Grampian at Dr Gray’s Hospital and likes to spend her free time out in the countryside with her husband and two dogs.

John Cudworth

After 20 years studying, living and working in Edinburgh in various positions John decided to start a new life in the country. Having visited Moray and the Finderne area for decades it has become his home for the last 5 years after he moved into the Old Station House at Dunphail. He takes great pleasure in being surrounded by the wonderful natural environment that the area has to offer, which acts as a great inspiration for his current career as a professional aquarist. He is eager to help with the FDT and its projects as he sees this as great way to develop and regenerate the area where he and his family have chosen to build their new lives.

Brian Higgs

Brian retired from his role as Malt Distilling Director for Diageo in 2014 after 30 years with the Scotch Whisky maker. He is married to Sarah and has two daughters (Jennie, a Psychiatrist, and Emma, a Personal trainer).

After 34 years in the area he can think of nowhere else as “home” and is passionate about the Finderne Development Trust becoming a leading force for the benefit of the local community.

Jim McKay

Jim has lived and worked in Moray for more than 30 years. His family were all brought up and schooled in Forres. He is a lawyer and has run his own firm since 1998. His interests are in mountains, rivers and the sea.

Carlo Miele

Carlo has had a career in retail, owning a long-established family business. He currently continues to own and manage an ice cream manufacturing business. He has established himself in the tourism market running a successful holiday apartment business.

Carlo has been involved in many charitable fundraising activities mainly through Rotary and his passion and commitment to local activities in Moray have been recognised when he was awarded the honour of Burgess of Forres.

Carlo served as a committee member for BBC Children in Need for 5 years on a national level being part of the decision making around funding awards across Scotland. Carlo was one of the founding Directors of Piping at Forres.

He is married to Fiona, and is proud father of Ryan (Counsellor and Psychotherapy) and Rhianna (Midwife)

Chris Piper

Chris is a Chartered Forester and an independent forestry consultant with 35 years of experience in UK forestry, most of which has been spent in Scotland and the past 18 years in Moray. Having brought up their family in Forres from 1999, Chris and wife Jenny relocated to Rafford in 2016.

Chris has been widely involved, both professionally and as a volunteer, in local business, community and church activities. He was a founder member and later Chair of the Forres Community Woodlands Trust and more recently became Vice Chair of the Finderne Community Council when it was “re-instituted” in 2016.

A compulsive outdoor activities person and with his background in land management and all that goes with rural development, Chris is passionate about helping to bring the vision of the emerging Finderne Development Trust to reality for the long-term benefit of this wonderful part of Scotland.

Peter Taylor

Peter was a partner in an international law firm in London before retiring to Rafford in 2011 to improve his Spey-casting.

He helped run Piping at Forres from its first year and has given wide-ranging advice and guidance to a variety of local charitable and Third Sector groups.

He is Chair of the Chartered Insurance Institute’s Disciplinary Committee, and an Elder, Treasurer and Sunday School leader at Rafford Church.

He is married to Joanna, and proud father of Helen and Mark, (Royal Naval Officer and Research Biochemist respectively).

Co-opted Directors

Roy Dennis MBE

Roy lives in Halfdavoch with his wife and daughter. He has studied Ospreys in Moray since 1970 – he is a professional ornithologist and wildlife consultant.

Jo Laing

Jo moved to Dunphail in 2013. Her husband Alec was born and brought up here but for both the move was the start of a new life raising their three young children and helping to run Alec’s family’s estate at Logie.

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