3 toy sheep in field

Meet the Team

Team Gaining Ground - meet our team members and read a little bit about their background.

Lucy Beattie - Project Manager

Lucy Beattie

Lucy trained in Rural Land Management and has worked as a teacher in further education. During this time she has been involved with pupils of all abilities who have taken Rural Skills at SVQ level and with adult learners. She comes from a farming background and has been involved with care farming placements for young adults with additional support needs. Working with SCF Lucy has been involved at a number of early stage meetings with crofters who are involved with or want to be involved with social crofting. She is really looking forward to the Gaining Ground project development. In her spare time she likes to dig, whether it be a drain or veggie patch, she enjoys the curative effect of working with the soil.

Tina Hartley - Project Manager

Tina Hartley Gaining Ground

Tina runs a rural business consultancy, TLC + Associates, with her business partner Lucy Beattie. She has been one of the Training Managers for the Scottish Crofting Federation for the past 6 years. In her former life, Tina was a senior manager for Social Services and worked in the areas of Learning Disabilities and Mental Health. Her heart lies with the people in our community who need a little extra support and she fully appreciates the health benefits that being outdoors and working with the land and animals brings. Over the years she has seen some wonderful success stories of people, some with quite complex needs, being involved with outdoor activities and says it was wonderful watching them develop and grow. Tina is looking forward to the opportunity of social crofting becoming the norm throughout the Highlands and Islands.

Ailsa Strange - Project Administrator

Ailsa Strange Gaining Ground

Ailsa joined the Scottish Crofting Federation training team in March 2018. Initially working for the Crofters and Smallholders Skills Boost Project she developed her organisational and administrative skills which led on to her joining the Gaining Ground team. Her work has provided an insight into the world of crofting and she is really enjoying her Gaining Ground role helping plan and organise some fantastic events. Ailsa previously worked for many years in Ullapool School Nursery and brings her experience of working closely with families and the local community to her post. She is hoping the project will add to the growing voice of reason that tells us that everyone can benefit from time out of doors and developing new social connections, be it gardening, crofting or walking along the seashore.

David Heaney - External Advisor

David Heaney Gaining Ground

Dr David Heaney, of Rossal Research and Consultancy, works as external advisor to Gaining Ground. David is an experienced researcher, and principal investigator, with leadership skills in international collaborative projects. He has worked most of his career in an academic setting, and was associate director at the Centre for Rural Health at the University of Aberdeen. He is interested in addressing issues faced in the delivery of effective remote and rural services. He now works on a range of projects, in health, technology, and innovation, all of which aim to make a difference to the lives of remote and rural people.

Blair Millen


Blair Millen

Blair has run a small web design business in the Highlands since 2006.  A graduate of Glasgow School of Art Blair has a strong passion for design and making web pages accessible through the use of graphic design and complementary colours. In his spare time Blair enjoys running and spending time with his family and beloved pet whippet walking in the hills of the Highlands.

Gaining Ground

Gaining Ground is a co-operation project funded by Highland and Moray LEADER and run by the Scottish Crofting Federation.

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