Stuart joined RSPB in 1976 and worked on species protection and wildlife trade issues, before being appointed to lead the charities policy development and advocacy programme. Stuart helped found Wildlife and Countryside Link and played a major role alongside other NGO partners during debates on the Wildlife and Countryside Bill in Westminster. In 1985 he became Head of Conservation Planning for RSPB.
In 1994 Stuart was appointed to the RSPB’s UK Board, as the Director of RSPB Scotland. He led RSPB Scotland through a period of considerable growth in membership and capacity. He and his team of some 350 staff managed a conservation estate of some 65,000Ha, from Dumfries and Galloway to Shetland, as well as a growing research programme and policy advocacy to further the conservation of birds and biodiversity. Stuart led RSPB Scotland through several testing casework campaigns, and worked to improve legislation to better protect key sites and species.Stuart participated in numerous Scottish Government stakeholder groups, from agriculture, planning and rural development. He chaired the Rural Development Council at the request of the then Cabinet Secretary and supported several SG Biodiversity work streams. He participated in the Natural Capital Executive, as well as Scottish Powers stakeholder forum, and the Crown Estates consultative panel. He retired in October 2017.
Stuart is a member of the HLF Scottish Committee, has been appointed to the Water Customer Forum, and is a Trustee of the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest Trust. He has authored or edited several books, and writes regularly.
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