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Who are we?

Our committee are elected by the society's membership.


Rick Brewis - Estates Officer (Role Share)

Is a local 3rd generation landowner within the Nidd Gorge catchment area, woodland owner & business partner, and was a founding member committee member of Nidd Gorge Community Action Group & HALT.


Geoff Freeston - Knaresborough Forest Park Site Lead
Geoff was brought up on a farm in Leicestershire and studied Agricultural and Environmental sciences at Nottingham University. He also worked on a Biodynamic farm in Sweden. This was followed by seven years as Head Gardener at Norton Conyers near Ripon, developing the 2 acre walled garden by setting up a PYO fruit enterprise and a plant nursery. Altogether he has more than 45 years of horticultural experience in many settings.

Graeme Knowles-Miller - Long Lands Community Food Forest Site Lead

Graeme is a salesman with a background in design and keen interest in gardening. 


An allotment holder taking a naturalistic style of organic growing, Graeme has a keen interest in top fruits and is a member of the Northern Fruit Group.

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Chris Kitson - Secretary

Chris has been the Secretary of Long Lands Common Ltd since our foundation in 2020, guiding the society through its inception and initial community share sale to successfully raise the funds to buy Long Lands Common and build a membership base of 3000 people.


Shan Oakes - Vice Chair

Shan has been a teacher (of English in secondary schools) then a senior education officer for Humberside and then York Councils.  She spent 30 months living and working in Uganda for Action Aid and FENU – Forum of Education NGOs Uganda. She helped set up Voice     International to promote smaller or unheard voices. She holds an MSc in Education for Sustainability.


Trish Sanders - Estates Officer (Role Share)

Trish has lived in Bilton all her life. A local business owner and landowner, she was involved in the campaign against the "relief road", and has been involved with Long Lands Common since the beginning.

Ben Skinner

Ben has been a Harrogate resident since 2012. A keen cyclist and local business owner, he became involved with the Nidd Gorge Community Action group in order to protect Harrogate's green spaces. He provides IT and other digital skills for the team.

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