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Who We Are
Gwen Blackshaw - Trustee
Retired Head Teacher Gwen Blackshaw brings a wealth of educational and organisational knowledge as well as tons of hands on enthusiasm to the team. Although relatively new to the area she and her husband Neil have become heavily involved in the local community and the gardens in particular. Gwen also enjoys art history, opera and football!
James Boutwood - Trustee
James Boutwood is an architect in private practise specialising in work on vernacular buildings and small country houses throughout East Anglia. His work at Easton Lodge has included the restoration of the garden pavilion and plans for the reinstatement of the tree house. He is a director of the Thaxted Music Festival and actively involved with a number of other bodies and advisory committees including the SPAB, Chelmsford Cathedral Fabric Advisory Committee, the Fry Art Gallery in Saffron Walden and Thaxted Church Trust. He has lived locally for over 40 years.
Catherine Dean - Chair of Trustees
Catherine Dean has visited the Gardens since they were open to the public, and has admired the transformation achieved by Diana and Brian Creasey. As a former teacher, Catherine is particularly keen to be involved with educational projects involving local schools and would also like to encourage greater participation in the Gardens by the local community. For several years Catherine was an Uttlesford District councillor believing that one of her roles was to preserve the heritage of the area for its 21st century residents.
Robin Whalley, BA (Cantab), MSc (London) - Trustee
Robin Whalley is a well-known authority on Victorian and Edwardian gardens and has made the work of Harold Peto a key area of research. His book The Great Edwardian Gardens of Harold Peto was published in 2007 and numerous articles by him on Peto have appeared over the years. He was awarded a fellowship from Harvard University to study at Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC in 1994 and was a consultant at the National Botanic Gardens of Wales, and is a part-time lecturer at Cardiff and Bristol Universities. He regularly organises and leads garden tours and lectures widely on his subject. He is the co-author of Knot Garden and Parterres and contributes to many magazines.
Claire Matthews - Trustee
Claire Matthews spent her formative years on her grandfather’s farm in Northamptonshire, where she acquired a lifelong interest in nature and nature study and a basic insight into mixed farming husbandry. On her return to the area she became involved with the gardens having moved to a house with a frustratingly small and easily managed garden. Claire takes great satisfaction in being able to help with the regeneration of The Forgotten Gardens of Easton Lodge and is one of our tour guides for open days.