Meet the CEI

The East Ayrshire Coalfield Environment Initiative Board is made up from representatives of East Ayrshire Council and independent representatives.

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

Board of Directors

Lucy Filby – Chair

Lucy is a Specialist in the Land Unit at Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)  although she sits on the CEI Board in an independent capacity. Her previous experience includes Environment Protection Officer in Dumfries and Galloway and  research assistant project experience in water quality and recreational water use . In the past she has been a swimming and water sports instructor.  She has a BSc in Applied Biology and is currently completing online learning in Public Health.

Outwith work, her interests include wildlife, walking,  open water swimming, gardening, spinning and weaving. She is also a member of her local community ‘knit and blether’ group.

Councillor Jim McMahon, nominated by East Ayrshire Council

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

Graeme Walker, Independent


Daisy Whytock, Project Manager

Daisy has managed the CEI since 2014, overseeing projects to conserve, promote and enhance peat bogs in the East Ayrshire coalfield area.

Daisy’s background is in nature conservation, specialising in peatland habitats. After studying a BSc Hons in Wildlife Conservation at Nottingham Trent University, Daisy moved to the Outer Hebrides to work with Scottish Natural Heritage on the Uist Wader Project; her main responsibilities were to trap and relocate hedgehogs that were invasive to the Islands and predating on ground-nesting waders.  It was during this time that Daisy fell in love with peat bogs, walking kilometres every day across moorland and bog and discovering fascinating plants and animals every day.  This inspired her to apply for a role as a TCV Natural Talent lowland raised bog apprentice.  The apprenticeship was hosted by Buglife and Butterfly Conservation in Stirling and Daisy immersed herself in the wonderful, damp and spongy world of wetlands.  This experience led to work as an ecological consultant carrying out a variety of habitat and species surveys across Scotland.  Working self-employed gave her the necessary skills to take up her role as the CEI PM, and her in-depth knowledge of peat bogs meant that she could continue the good work of the previous PM, Toby.

Emily Hay, Project Officer

Emily is our newest recruit to CEI and has joined us from a background in Conservation Biology. Emily is passionate about plants and since gaining BSc (Hons) Conservation Biology has studied plants from microscopic phytoplankton to the giants of the Honduran Cloud Forest. Although Emily has lived and worked in many different places she is an original “Ayrshire Lass”, born and bred in Ayrshire before moving to Bristol to begin her university degree and career. As an Ayrshire lass Emily has a vested interest in native wildflower species and their importance to local people and landscapes. Emily is now bringing her knowledge and experience back home to help make East Ayrshire the glittering, green jewel in Ayrshire’s natural crown.