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Our management team

Esther Black

Esther Black

Director of Corporate Operations

Esther has worked in media, public affairs and strategic communications for over 20 years. She started her career as a journalist before working in the Scottish Parliament for a group of MSPs.  

During a period in Australia, she worked in crisis communications for fast-moving consumer goods companies then for international environmental groups including Pew, WWF and Nature Conservancy.  

Returning to the UK, she continued in consultancy before moving to The Crown Estate in 2013. She now oversees communications, stakeholder engagement, policy, HR and governance for Crown Estate Scotland. 

Esther sits on Business in the Community Scotland's Advisory Board and the Board of Children in Scotland.

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Simon Hodge

Simon Hodge

Chief Executive

Simon Hodge joined Crown Estate Scotland as Chief Executive in April 2018. He leads the staff team and works with the Board and the Scottish Government to fully establish Crown Estate Scotland as a new public corporation.

Originally from Devon, Simon’s previous roles have focussed on natural resource management including policy and research in farming and forestry and eight years as Chief Executive of Forest Enterprise Scotland responsible for Scotland’s National Forest Estate.

Colin Palmer

Colin Palmer

Director of Marine

Colin joined the organisation in October 2018 and leads on the development of offshore renewable energy and aquaculture. His remit also includes carbon capture & storage and cables & pipelines.

Colin’s experience to date includes working in onshore wind development, offshore wind development (as Project Manager for Beatrice Offshore wind farm up until consent in 2014) and most recently as Delivery Director for Kite Power Systems delivering innovative new airborne renewable energy technology.

Colin also worked in oil & gas as Commercial & Development Manager for SSE Exploration & Production. He has degrees in marketing and in engineering project management.

Andy Wells

Andy Wells

Director of Property

Andy has worked for The Crown Estate since 1990, managing our Glenlivet Estate before becoming Head of Countryside Management across the UK. He took up his current role in July 2016.

Andy is responsible for our rural and coastal assets which includes 37,000 hectares of rural land with forestry, farming, commercial and residential tenants as well as around half of Scotland’s coastline with ports, harbours and 5,800 moorings. He also oversees health and safety policy on behalf of the Board.

Andy’s work has been recognised with a raft of international and national awards, including an honorary fellowship at the University of Edinburgh.

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