Meet the team

Meet the team

The Scottish Rural Network is supported by a team in the Scottish Government called the Network Support Unit. Find out more about the members of the team and their roles below.

Alan Robertson
Scottish Rural Network Manager
Tel: 0131 244 2183

I have worked in the Scottish Government (SG) since 2009, starting in the agency Disclosure Scotland and then moving into core SG.  I worked across Justice and Public Health Directorates (“Diet” Officer if you can believe that) until obtaining my current post as Network Manager within the Scottish Rural Network.

Prior to joining Scottish Government, I worked in the public and the private sector within a variety of roles. Taking a career break, I returned to education as a ”mature” student completing an HND in furniture making and design - just in time for the financial crash of 2008/9!  This led me into SG (as jobs for apprentice 40 something furniture makers were thin on the ground at this point).

In my free time I like exploring the Perthshire countryside (where I live), buying and listening to music (much to my wife’s annoyance) and seeking the perfect pint of IPA.

Hannah Downey
Communications and Content Officer
Tel: 0131 244 9326

After graduating in Environmental Geography and a few years of working and volunteering, I joined the Scottish Government as a laboratory assistant with Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture, and started with the Scottish Rural Network in June 2018 as a Communications and Events Support Officer.

In my new role I will be helping monitor the SRNs social media channels and website as well as finding material for the weekly newsletter. I help reach out to rural stakeholders and audiences with information about funding opportunities, rural policy and project testimonials from people living and working in rural Scotland.

In my free time you can mostly find me hanging out with my dog, Douglas. We love exploring all that Scotland’s great outdoors has to offer!

Lorraine Lowrie
Rural Network Officer
Tel: 0131 244 9031

Prior to joining the Scottish Rural Network, I spent three years working for The Crofting Commission and before that, 15 years with the Department for Work and Pensions. As part of the SRN team, I have responsibility for LEADER Local Action Group engagement, looking at future LEADER policy, providing support to the Community-Led Local Development Chairs working group and supporting the wider work of the team.

I live in Inverness where I was born and raised, which enables me to get easy access to the beautiful Highlands and West Coast of Scotland which I enjoy doing in my spare time (in the warmer months. I’m a fair-weather adventurer!). My absolute passion is going to gigs and listening to music. And making lists. Even better, lists about music! 

Katharine Johnston
Stakeholder Engagement & Business Officer
Tel: 0131 2440 103

I joined the Scottish Government in 2007 and spent nearly 13 years working in various teams within the Crofting Commission. At the end of November 2019 I joined the Scottish Rural Network (SRN) - just in time for the Christmas party! 

My role within the team includes the organisation and facilitation of events involving the SRN. I also support the team by coordinating and managing SRN’s programme of case studies and contributing content for the SRN’s website and newsletter. 

I live in the Black Isle just north of Inverness with my husband and kids and our cat and dog. In my younger years I was a long-term committee member of my local Young Farmers Club which has resulted in a love of agricultural shows.