Meet the team

Everyone who works at Tweed Forum shares a passion for the iconic River Tweed and the plants, animals and people who thrive within its catchment.  Under the leadership of Director, Luke Comins, the team covers a broad range of expertise and experience in land and water management. You can find out more about the team below.

We also provide consultancy services under the trading arm of Tweed Forum – Confluence Consulting.  Offering a wide range of ecological and project management services to both private and public sector clients, Confluence Consulting is at the forefront of Integrated Catchment Management. Over the years, we have built up a track record of working with land managers to achieve practical works that deliver multiple benefits.

Luke Comins  


With a background in environmental management, Luke oversees the strategic management of the Forum including project development and policy work. He came to the Scottish Borders in 1996, starting out in the fisheries field. Moving on to the £9 million Tweed Rivers Heritage Project, it was during this time he oversaw the consolidation of Tweed Forum from an informal liaison group to a fully staffed company.

Hugh Chalmers  

Tweed Collaborative Action Coordinator

At Tweed Forum, Hugh assists landowners in restoring wetlands, managing floodplains and controlling diffuse pollution. With a B.Sc. in Agriculture and a M.Sc. in Natural Resource Management from Edinburgh University, Hugh worked first as a lecturer in agricultural colleges in Derbyshire and Surrey before moving to the Borders in 1992 to work with the Scottish Wildlife Trust. He then worked as an advisor with the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group and with Borders Forest Trust as Site Manager.

Rachel Coyle  

Project Officer

Rachel joined Tweed Forum in January 2018 to work on our peatland restoration programme and assist with the Tweed Invasives project. Rachel has a background in biology, with a B.Sc. (Hons) in Animal Biology from Napier University, and experience of wetland and woodland habitat management (as an intern with the RSPB). Over the last few years Rachel has been working in the Cairngorms, delivering outreach and education work, as well as being involved in forest restructuring work at Abernethy and upland footpath maintenance throughout the National Park.

Emily Iles  

Project Officer

(Currently on maternity leave.) Emily is responsible for our ongoing invasive species programme and various education and outreach elements throughout the catchment as well as SRDP scheme support. With a B.Sc. (Hons) in Wildlife and Conservation from the University of Kent, Emily previously worked in environmental education and invasive species control on the river Nith. She has also worked in agriculture and has a keen interest in UK wildlife.

Derek Robeson  

Senior Project Officer (Integrated Land & Water Management)

Derek joined Tweed Forum to help facilitate two main evolving policy areas - the Land Use Strategy for Scotland and Natural Flood Management techniques. A native Borderer, Derek has a background in Geology having gained a Ph.D. at Trinity College Dublin. He has spent over 20 years working with Borders farmers to deliver practical conservation projects on the ground and spent 15 years as a Senior Conservation Adviser with Borders FWAG. This was followed by 4 years as a Conservation Consultant with SAC Consulting.

Joe Taylforth  

Project Officer

Joe joined us in August 2018 to provide GIS expertise and assist with project delivery. After studying Earth Science at Edinburgh University, Joe worked on renewable energy projects across Scotland and recently completed an M.Sc. in GIS at Edinburgh University. He has a keen interest in natural flood management, ecosystem services and river restoration.

Janet Landells  

Finance/Office Manager

Jan has a broad range of administration and finance management experience having worked for both large organisations and small businesses, in the public and private sectors. A native Borderer with a passion for the landscapes and culture of her home region, Jan ensures clear and accountable delivery of everything from small-scale local restoration projects to large multinational EU projects.