Hazel Johnson joined BEFS in 2021, having previously worked at Historic Environment Scotland.

Hazel has extensive experience working in both the arts and in heritage. A longstanding interest in placemaking and traditional construction methods led her to a postgraduate degree in Architectural Conservation at the University of Edinburgh.

Previously Hazel has held various roles at Historic Environment Scotland (HES), across multiple directorates, and has worked collaboratively with stakeholders and the wider heritage and built environment sectors. Notable projects include the delivery of the Historic Environment Policy for Scotland (HEPS), and project managing the Our Place in Time, Built Heritage Investment, and Climate Groups.

Hazel’s main professional drivers lie in understanding what makes good places and thriving communities, specifically understanding and advocating for the role of heritage and culture, and how good policy can support and underpin this.

As a director and organiser of the Edinburgh arts festival Hidden Door, these professional interests are combined with her passion for the arts and community led initiatives.

Email: hjohnson@befs.org.uk


Jess joined BEFS in 2021, having previously worked for the Soil Association Scotland and the Churches Conservation Trust in communications roles.

Jess completed the University of Edinburgh’s MSc Architectural Conservation programme in 2021, after writing her dissertation on heritage-led regeneration in Scotland’s conservation areas.

Jess has extensive experience in third sector communications, most recently as Communications and Public Affairs Manager at the Soil Association Scotland, where she built on a longstanding interest in sustainability and climate. Previously she worked as Marketing Officer for the Churches Conservation Trust, covering over one hundred historic churches from Shropshire to the Scottish border.

Combining sector knowledge with communications expertise, Jess is responsible for communicating BEFS key messages and activities to member organisations and wider stakeholders. Her role reflects the importance of BEFS members at the centre of all our activity.

Jess is also a part time Project Officer at Scottish Historic Buildings Trust.

Email: jburrows@befs.org.uk


Fionnuala has a wide range of skills and experience from across a variety of sectors and organisations.

fionn2Fionnuala has a wide range of skills and experience from across a variety of sectors and organisations, including Gleneagles Hotel, The Daily Telegraph and the Royal College of Surgeons. She originally comes from Dublin and has lived in Edinburgh for 20 years, has 3 children and enjoys sailing in her spare time. Fionnuala joined the BEFS’ team in 2016, providing administrative and financial support. She is also Company Secretary.

Email: fdouglas@befs.org.uk


Ailsa became BEFS Director in 2021, having joined BEFS as Policy & Strategy Manager in 2017. She previously managed the Resourcing Scotland’s Heritage project and worked for Museums Galleries Scotland.

ailsa2Ailsa has an M.Litt from St Andrews University in Art History where she focused on architectural history both classical and vernacular.

Coming from a cultural-heritage project management background, running complex projects with a nationwide remit Ailsa has wide-ranging experience with partnership working and stakeholder collaboration across the sector.
She has been responsible for complex work areas within BEFS such as responding to the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019, Prioritisation work – informing the Sustainable Investment Toolkit on behalf of the OPiT Built Heritage Investment Group, and aiding understanding of sector responses to crisis through CHERF.

Taking an inclusive and collaborative approach, with a passion for increasing sector sustainability, Ailsa distils complexity across policy landscapes, and focuses sector responses strategically; continually working in partnership to make sure the sector is well represented, well understood, and evidencing delivery across national strategies and performance frameworks.

Ailsa is a Fellow of the RSA, a Trustee of MyParkScotland, and sits on the Advisory Group for the Travelling Gallery.

Email: amacfarlane@befs.org.uk