Our Team


I joined Open Country in 1998 and oversee the day to day running of the charity. I have worked as a Countryside Ranger for Ipswich and Wakefield councils and as a Youth Development Worker for Bradford Environmental Education Service.

My favourite countryside place is the Forest of Bowland, especially seeing dotterel on Pendle Hill.


Chief Officer

I run the Wild About Wakefield project, helping with fundraising and leading walks, cycle rides, conservation work parties and outings. I have worked in people engagement and project management roles for the RSPB.

My favourite countryside place is St Ives Estate in Bingley; I’ve had some great experiences watching tawny owls there.


Wild About Wakefield Project Officer

I have a background in marketing and am helping to raise the profile of Open Country.  I also run the York Tandem Club. I am a regular volunteer on Open Country’s annual cross-country tandem rides and residential walking weekends.

My favourite countryside place is a remote Scottish island with wide sandy beaches, empty of people.


Communications Officer

I have worked with people with disabilities in the Harrogate District for many years, including roles at Ripon Walled Garden and Mencap. I run the weekend trips, conservation work groups and the Wetherby Tandem Club.

My favourite countryside place is Loch Lubnaig in Scotland; I love kayaking on the loch and watching the deer on the shores at dawn.


Countryside Activities Officer

I have been a Countryside Ranger in Surrey, Kent and the London Borough of Bromley, and a Field Studies Tutor in Epping Forest. I run the weekend trips, the Wild about Wetherby groups and the Ripon Tandem Club.

My favourite countryside place is Rodley Nature Reserve in Leeds. I like watching the wetland birds and trying to spot a kingfisher.


Countryside Activities Officer

My background is in equine management and animal care. I have worked with autistic children and been a tutor at Craven College, as well as being a shepherdess for many years. I run the Walk on the Wild Side and Nature and Natterers groups.

My favourite countryside place is the Yorkshre Three Peaks, whether I’m walking, running or cycling up them.


Countryside Activities Officer

I help to run the Wild About Wetherby group and lead other activities when needed, as well as providing admin support in the office. I am a professional photographer and lead guided photo walks across Yorkshire.

My favourite countryside place is Kisdon in Swaledale. I love the view from Kisdon Hill and the peace and tranquility of the waterfalls on the Upper Swale.


Countryside Activities Officer

My role involves writing bids and working with the business community to generate grants and donations. I have worked in fundraising since 1999 and I also run the Yorkshire Ambulance Service Charity.

My favourite countryside place is the White Horse at Kilburn; an iconic landmark with spectacular views and nice accessible walks nearby.


Fundraising Officer

I help to raise funds through grants and donations. I have worked for various environmental organisations in the past including Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.

My favourite countryside place is Hetchell Wood just outside Leeds. I have a strong emotional attachment to the place as I remember visiting as a 12 year old girl!


Fundraising Officer

I work as an associate consultant and have helped organisations in strategic and business planning, market and portfolio reviews, operational and organisational reviews, profit improvement strategies, and acting as specialist advisor on vocational education matters.

My favourite countryside place is up any hill in my native Yorkshire.

Richard Firth

Chair of Trustees

I am a Senior Investment Director with an international investment management business. I have been disabled since I was 22 when I lost my leg in a car accident which also resulted in other serious inhibiting injuries. I love the outdoors principally open water swimming, cycling and skiing. I was the first disabled swimmer to swim the International Ice Swimming Association ‘Ice Mile’ swim and I now sit on the global board which promotes and governs the sport and have represented GB in the sport of Ice Swimming. 

My favourite countryside place is generally in any lake or river, especially the river Wharfe at Boston Spa which on a summer’s day is a magical place to swim.

Jonty Warneken

Open Country Trustee

I am an Operations Director (Support Services) with Compass Group. My background is in change management and operational improvement. I’m a keen outdoor enthusiast and enjoy sea kayaking, canoeing, moutaineering and cycling.

My favourite countryside place is Grassington as it’s a great base to explore the Dales from – great walks and mountain biking routes, and a plenty of cafes for cake afterwards!

Giles Blessed

Health & Safety Trustee

I’ve been volunteering with Open Country’s tandem club for 7 years, and became a trustee in 2017.  I am a director at KPMG, where I lead our regional technology consulting team. Dad of two teenage girls and a Welsh Springer Spaniel. In my spare time, I’m a passionate biker, runner and hiker.

My favourite countryside place is a remote peak or tarn in the Lake District, preferably with a magical sunset and a brew.

Ian Brotherton

Open Country Trustee

I am a Chartered Accountant. After many years in private practice I now act as a business adviser, focusing on business development, to clients over a broad range of businesses including in the third sector. I love the outdoors principally walking but golfing and skiing whilst the legs can take it.

My favourite countryside place is generally in the Lake District but Ingleborough and Runswick Bay have great memories.

David Robinson

Open Country Treasurer

I’m proud to be associated with Open Country and the work the team do every day. As an experienced HR Director I’ve seen the difference great teams can make to people’s lives.

My favourite countryside place is Burnsall to Grassington with a nice picnic by the river. I feel very spoilt having so many wonderful walks on our doorstep.

Tracey Jackson

HR Trustee

Get In Touch


Community House, 46 East Parade, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG1 5LT


01423 507227

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Registered Charity No: 1107331   Company No: 5155859

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