Duncan Bryden


Duncan is a Sustainable Regeneration specialist with a wide range of experience in the public, private and third sectors. He has expertise and a deep interest in driving change and focusing strategic direction in the rural context to generate wealth and public benefits. He believes in a sustainable economic approach which integrates community needs and aspirations  with a high-quality environment and Net Zero outcome. 

Based in Scotland, he has worked across the UK and internationally in Scandinavia, Europe and Canada. A proven confident leader, communicator and facilitator, he has had over 30 years’ experience in strategic planning and practical site management, policy development and advice and insight on organisational governance and business planning. His specialisms are in community consultation and governance, environmental and social assessment.

He can understand, persuade and reconcile diverse views and enjoys getting out to talk to people and gather evidence in support of strategic outcomes. He is a national charity chair and has been a community company director and councillor in his own home area and is often called on to communicate and negotiate with public and private stakeholders.  An enthusiast for logic-based approaches, he also brings an emotional intelligent understanding to sensitive discussions and looks to negotiate innovative solutions.

Duncan’s career began in rural land management with a focus on recreation, tourism, and visitor impact assessment.  He moved into economic regeneration with Highland and Islands Enterprise, establishing the multi-agency Scottish wide Tourism and Environment Initiative that pioneered Tourism Management Schemes (early DMOs)  and won a range of awards for the Green Tourism Accreditation Scheme (now one of the top schemes worldwide) and Heritage Interpretation and placemaking.   He left to become a director of a national environmental NGO before setting up his own sustainability-based consultancy in 2002. 

Since then, he has delivered a wide range of studies, feasibility plans and reviews, including helping communities take ownership of over 80,000 ha of land and multiple properties. This included early work on carbon sequestration in forest and peatlands. He was a founder Ministerial appointee and subsequently chairman of the Cairngorms National Park Authority and vice chair of National Parks UK.   In 2020 he established a Post Graduate online MSc programme in tourism, (based around the UN Sustainable Development Goals) for the University of the Highlands and Islands. Recent work includes a Net Zero Route Map for a Scottish Local Authority.

Duncan  is a graduate of Edinburgh University (BSc Hons Ecological Science), has an MSocSc from Birmingham University and  is an alumna of the Cambridge University Institute for Sustainability Leadership and  the Edinburgh University Carbon Literacy programme.  A Chartered Biologist, he is a member of the Royal Society of Biology.

He is a mountaineer and rides a bike for fun.

Duncan Bryden photo