Board of Directors


The East Ayrshire Coalfield Environment Initiative Board is made up from representatives of RSPB Scotland, East Ayrshire Council, Scottish Natural Heritage and independent representatives.

In addition, our Steering Group also welcomes members from East Ayrshire Woodlands, the Scottish Wildlife Trust and Forestry Commission Scotland.


Our current Board Members


Councillor Jim McMahon, East Ayrshire Council





East Ayrshire Council was formed in April 1995. The council consists of the former Kilmarnock and Loudoun and Cumnock and Doon Valley District Councils, and the part of Strathclyde Regional Council which related to the area. The population of East Ayrshire in 2010 was estimated to be 120,240.

Councillor Jim McMahon represents Cumnock and New Cumnock (SNP).  Councillor McMahon joined the East Ayrshire Coalfield Environment Initiative in 2017.


Dave Beaumont, RSPB Scotland

RSPB logo




The RSPB is the country’s largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with partners, the RSPB protects threatened birds and wildlife so that towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again. The RSPB also plays a leading role in a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations.

David Beaumont is the Regional Director for South and West Scotland and is part of the Senior Leadership Team for RSPB Scotland.  After completing a PhD at the University of Paisley, looking at assemblages of spiders in ancient woodlands on the west coast of Scotland, David became Reserves Ecologist for RSPB in 1993.  After building a team of Regional Ecologists that provided scientific support to the expanding portfolio of RSPB nature reserves David became Regional Reserves Manager for South and West Scotland in 2008.  As an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Stirling, David keeps up his interest in ecology, contributing to applied research and identifying spider collections.  David is a Trustee of the Loch Lomond Countryside Trust and Board member of Garnock Valley, Inner Forth Landscape Partnerships and the East Ayrshire Coalfields Environment Initiative.  When not involved in environmental work, David is also president of his local rugby club, Strathendrick RFC.



Arthur Keller (acting Chair), Scottish Natural Heritage

Arthur Keller     SNH logo small

Scottish Natural Heritage is funded by the Scottish Government to promote, care for and improve the natural heritage of Scotland, to help people enjoy it responsibly, to enable greater understanding and awareness of it, and to promote its sustainable use, now and for future generations, supporting the mission: “All of nature for all of Scotland.”

Arthur Keller is an Operations Manager in SNH with responsibility for projects and partnerships in Central Scotland. He has been with SNH for more than 20 years, and has been involved in its work in planning, protected areas and grants during that period. Previously he was an environmental consultant.


Gregor Caldwell (BSc Agriculture, Dip Rur Sci), Agriculturalist

Gregor Caldwell

Gregor Caldwell is Principal Agricultural Officer in South West Scotland with the Scottish Government’s Rural Payments and Inspections Directorate (RPID), although he sits on the CEI Board in an independent capacity. His previous experience includes the Principal Agricultural Officer post in Southern and South Eastern Areas, Head of Industry Branch in the Scotland Office and Head of Financial Services Branch in the Scottish Executive Enterprise Department. He is also a founder member and Chairman of the Ayrshire volunteer committee for the rural charity RSABI (Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution).

His interests outwith work include agriculture, playing football, running and supporting Kilmarnock FC.