Meet the team

June Tainsh

Garden manager

June joined the garden in 2018, moving down from Scotland where she had been working as a garden designer for over ten years.  She became interested in the health benefits of gardens and gardening in 2012, working on two large walled gardens in Scotland designed around enabling volunteers with mental health issues.  June has been a volunteer judge with Keep Scotland Beautiful, is now with Britain in Bloom, and is currently studying for her MHort with the RHS.  She very much enjoys working with volunteers and seeing the results of team work and guidance with the volunteer cohort at Helmsley.

Tricia Harris

Marketing manager

Tricia has always loved gardening but only became a professional horticulturalist in 2004 when she started her training at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. After six years there she and her husband made the move to North Yorkshire and she joined Helmsley Walled Garden as a part-time gardener. In 2014 she became the marketing manager for the Garden using her skills from a previous career as a marketeer for a London based national charity. She now combines the two and says she thinks it’s the best job she’s ever done.

Robyn Hancock

WRAGS Trainee

Robyn loves being outdoors; whether it’s climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, camping in the Middle-Eastern desert, or digging over the allotment, being close to the soil is everything to her. She spent almost 20 years teaching in primary schools abroad and in the UK, but volunteering at Helmsley Walled Garden inspired her to train at Askham Bryan College as a RHS Level 2 Gardener and she is now furthering her training here. She says “being at Helmsley Walled Garden is so uplifting. I find myself singing on the commute home, I’ve been so happy during the day”.

Heather Thomas

Volunteer coordinator

Whilst studying in London, Heather felt the absence of nature in her day to day life and began volunteering at an organic farm with the Trust for Conservation Volunteers.  Moving back to Yorkshire, she trained in horticulture and garden design and has worked at Helmsley Walled Garden since 2009.  She has seen the garden evolve over the years and witnessed first hand the therapeutic benefits of gardening.  Heather organises, plans and supervises the work of our volunteers in the garden four days a week.

Tony Craggs

Groundsman

Tony has been associated with the garden for over fifteen years, involved initially as a volunteer and more recently taking on a formal role as groundsman and caretaker.  He is well known in the town of Helmsley, having lived there all his life, and looks after his own allotment in the town, growing vegetables and caring for his own little flock of chickens.