RSPB SCOTLAND, the country’s largest wildlife conservation charity, has appointed its first female leader in the shape of Anne McCall, who will take up the post of director on May 30.

Anne, who replaces Stuart Housden, who has been at the helm since 1994, has already been with the RSPB for nearly 19 years, having joined in 1998 as a member of the society’s planning team, working on cases like the Lingerbay superquarry, Lewis windfarm and the inquiry into the Trump golf course in Aberdeenshire. Most recently she held the role of regional director for south and west Scotland.

Brought up near Stranraer in Dumfries and Galloway, Anne studied politics, history and law at the University of Edinburgh, before completing a post-graduate course in town planning at Heriot-Watt University. She is an accredited member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and was a Convenor of the RTPI in 2004.

Commenting on her promotion, she said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as the new director for RSPB Scotland and look forward to officially starting my role at the end of May. The natural world is under threat like never before but for many of the problems there are also solutions, if we can find the resources and the will to apply them.

“I aim to work with other organisations and individuals from across all sectors, through collaboration and partnership, with the ambition of reversing the current downward trajectory for so many of our species and habitats.

"Consigning future generations to lives without the critical mental and physical elements a healthy environment provides would be a shameful legacy and I will do my utmost to ensure that doesn’t happen.”

RSPB Scotland’s current landholding amounts to 177,985 acres, spread across 77 nature reserves from Shetland to Galloway. It is the biggest nature conservation estate in Scotland, hosting thousands of rare and threatened species. The organisation employs roughly 350 full time members of staff, backed by a supporter membership of 80,000, and more than 1800 volunteers.