We became tenants of the National Trust in 2010 having fallen in love with this tranquil corner of Gloucestershire. More than a decade of hard work has breathed life into the neglected cottage near Horton Court, creating a garden from the nettles, an orchard of local heritage fruit trees, wildlife and wildflower areas, and an organic vegetable garden.

Born and raised in Northumberland, the West Country has long become our family home.

After university I enjoyed a career in sales before retraining as a teacher as our children grew. I ended my employed life as CEO of a multi academy trust serving some of Bristol’s most disadvantaged wards. Here I oversaw the building of 4 new schools and this, combined with my earlier headships in old buildings, has given me an understanding of construction, building and maintenance matters.

I volunteered as an advocate for children with Barnardo’s, giving them a voice in interactions with councils and courts and now work as a Leadership Coach with senior leaders.

My introduction to the National Trust, apart from long term membership, was in my first headship where I worked with the local Ranger who lent us an area of woodland to use for outdoor learning – a project that greatly benefited the children, staff and families.

I am now helping the important work of TANT in representing, supporting and advising tenants in their relationship with the Trust – giving tenants a voice they might not otherwise have. Indeed, having called on TANT’s help in the past I know at first-hand how important this support can be enabling us all to continue custodianship of our beautiful homes.