Beechbrae Staff

Ally Graham 
Ally is our Project Manager and is passionate about health and wellbeing. She loves plants, woodlands and learning about the native heritage that is around us every day.

She has undertaken significant training in woodland management and orchard care. She is a beekeeper with a Basic Beemaster distinction, a fully qualified ground based chainsaw operator (small, medium- large & windblown trees). She completed a B.A., an MSc from Edinburgh University and later a MSc Gastronomy at Queen Margaret University- check out what that looks like here.

Ally is an orchard consultant for fruit tree owners and has training in Permaculture principles including forest gardening, coppicing and holistic woodland management. She is trained to lead and deliver Branching Out programmes as a Branching Out Ranger with the Forestry Commission.

She enjoys sunshine and all things warm, being encircled by green, and is passionate about hands on & practical learning and education. She is a dreamer and works hard to see those dreams realized. Ally enjoys photography, foraging, home brewing and eating well with friends. She is also a huge fan of Mary Oliver, Brené Brown and Karine Polwart.


Sammy Saunders
Sammy joined the team as our Community Worker Sammy Saunders Beechbraein May 2016. She had been volunteering with Beechbrae since September 2015 and has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Community Development at the University of Glasgow.

Sammy has enjoyed getting to know the village of Blackridge and its residents over the past year and has been working with the local primary school with a food waste reduction project and lots of fun woodland and pond activities.

Previously Sammy managed an intergenerational project for a local community organisation that encouraged different generations to work together and share knowledge as well as actively participate in growing, cooking and eating various produce. She also was a key volunteer in a Grass Roots project that involved working with a community to design and create a Japanese Zen Garden in the village of Armadale.

Sammy has been trained in cycle maintenance, bikeability (formally known as cycling proficiency), as well as a Cycle Ride Leader. She is also a Health Walk Leader for Paths for All and has completed the John Muir Award deliverance training, which she is currently using to design a project for a youth group she voluntary runs in a local village.

Sammy’s passion lies with encouraging people to get out doors and in touch with nature, through creative environmental art, bushcraft and cooking on an outdoor fire pit.

Outside work Sammy enjoys walking her dogs, voluntary running a local youth group and camping. She is a big foody fan having previously been a catering manager and loves innovative ways of creating new recipes for the camp fire.