Opening a fantastic selection of gardens across Scotland to raise money for hundreds of charities
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Our Trustees

Scotland’s Gardens Scheme is overseen by a Board of Trustees who oversee the charity’s financial performance and strategic vision. The trustees each bring their own expertise to the table.

David Mitchell (Chairman)

After thirty years at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, mostly as a curator, David recently retired to become a Research Associate at the RBGE. He sees his role as Chairman as ambassadorial and outreach especially highlighting the work of our volunteers and garden openers, using a collegiate approach to the organisations governance wherever possible. He is also Director and Curator of Muddy Feet Consultants his own environmental education company that specialises in landscape assessment, project development, horticulture, interpretation and exhibitions. A respected lecturer and tour leader leading groups for travel companies and Ivy League Universities around the globe. This is in addition to his long career as broadcaster with the BBC, STV, Channel Four and Radio Scotland. He believes that gardens and access to them is vital for the well being of people of ages and backgrounds as well as for the cultural good of the nation. He recently became a Trustee of the National Trust of Scotland and has been a Trustee of the Pitlochry Festival Theatre for nearly fifteen years. He currently lives in Edinburgh with his wife Catherine, his best friend, life long supporter and guiding light, and the ‘skinny whippet’ the infamous ‘Mr. Lowry’ who hosts Scotland’s Garden Scheme Dog Blog. In his spare time he enjoys art, antique porcelain, adding to his extensive library, playing music and cooking.


Sarah Landale (Deputy Chair)

Sarah is a District Organiser in Dumfriesshire. She and her husband open their garden at Dalswinton House.

Peter Yellowlees (Honorary Treasurer)

Peter was a partner in an independent firm of CA’s advising a wide range of individuals, businesses and charities in accounting, tax and audit matters. Having visited many of the amazing gardens opened on behalf of the charity over the past 40 years, he was delighted to become Honorary Treasurer of Scotland’s Gardens Scheme (SGS) in 2011. Peter oversees the financial running of the charity as well as our OSCR reporting.


Richard Burns

Richard is a retired investment manager. He was a partner in Baillie Gifford & Co for nearly 30 years before retiring in 2006 and is chairman of two investment trust companies. Richard helps to keep an eye on our financials and the charity’s investment portfolio.

Catherine Erskine

Catherine is a District Organiser in Fife. Her garden, at Cambo, open for an annual plant sale.


Charlotte Hunt

Charlotte was brought up visiting gardens in the North of Scotland as their Mother was a District Organiser for Scotland’s Gardens Scheme for many years. Charlotte followed in her footsteps becoming an Area Organiser in Stirlingshire and went on to become Chairman of SGS for five years from 2002. Gardening is her favourite pastime and best form of relaxation. Char provides the Board with a historical perspective of our charity.

Trish Kennedy

Trish opens her garden Newhall, Carlops for Scotland's Gardens Scheme


Minette Struthers

Born and bred down south, Minette worked in London and abroad for United Nations. She eventually came ’home’ to the family estate at Ardmaddy, Argyll, to tend to an ‘emptied’ walled garden. After opening the garden two days a week under SGS from 1986, she became the District Organiser and Treasurer for Argyll later to become a Trustee. She is a member of the RHS, IDS, Scottish Rhododendron Society, a committee member of the Garden Society of Scotland. Minette helps to represent the District Volunteer and Garden Opener’s point of view in Board activities. She also understands the needs of our more remote areas.

Max Ward

Formerly a partner of Baillie Gifford & Co. Now Managing Director of The Independent Investment Trust plc. Max lives at Stobshiel House, which first opened under Scotland’s Gardens Scheme in 2007. Max helps to keep an eye on our financials and the charity’s investment portfolio.