Stuart Wale (Chairman)
Dr Stuart Wale is Director of Horticulture and Chairman of the Trust. A former Lecturer, and latterly Head of Crop Services and Dean of the Aberdeen Centre (SAC), Stuart brings great knowledge of plant cultivation and pathology to the Gardens. Currently Stuart travels the world as a part-time researcher and consultant with Scotland’s Rural College. He is a member of several Committees and has written many research papers. Outside of work and the Castle Gardens Stuart is a keen Morris Dancer and enjoys reading, walking and his grandchildren.
Elaine Cooper-Willox (Marketing/Health and Safety)
Elaine Cooper-Willox is responsible for the PR & Marketing side of the project and provides support to Nick if required in the HSE role, and Sandy on the Property side. She was brought up on her family farm beside Turriff and now lives in Ellon with her husband and young daughter. Elaine’s involvement in the garden stems from an interest in local history and a desire to become more involved in the community. She has just over 16 years experience in the Oil & Gas Industry, currently looking after Occupational Health for an Oil and Gas Service company alongside running a business with her husband in the town.
Chris Hall (Finance)
Married, with two daughters and one grandson, Chris has lived near Ellon for 27 years. He has been a member of the Ythan Community Council for over 20 years and currently serves as secretary. Recently Chris joined Ellon Rotary Club. He runs a small Chartered Accountancy practice with clients mainly spread over the North East of Scotland. When he’s not working Chris enjoys most outdoor activities and helping his wife with her sheep enterprise.
Joanne Evans (Events)
Joanne is a local garden designer. She lives in Bourtie near Oldmeldrum with her husband and son. Brought up in Bristol she worked at the BBC for over 18 years in libraries and archiving. She moved to Scotland in 2004 to work on the first digital library system in the BBC. Since then she has retrained as a garden designer. She is also the factsheet writer for The Beechgrove Garden TV programme and writes a monthly gardening column for the Inverurie, Ellon and Turriff advertisers. Joanne first got involved in Ellon Castle Gardens as a volunteer. Her main responsibility is event coordination.
Fred Tadhunter (Horticulture)
Fred Tadhunter is a retired Project Engineer, married to Anna and has a daughter Elaine, son Andrew and four grandchildren. The family moved to the North East in 1982 and have lived in Ellon since 1991. Fred has been involved in many different environmental organisations and was, for 20 years, a volunteer in a nursery growing local native species of trees and wild flowers from seed collected around the North East.
Fred, as Director of Horticulture, coordinates the gardeners in the preservation, regeneration and conservation of the gardens ancient trees and flower beds.
Mike Taylor (Structures)
Mike was born and brought up in Ellon, where he lives with his wife Margaret. They have a son Ross who lives in Houston and a daughter Jane living in Aberdeen. He retired from his architectural practice in 2013, Taylor Design Services. Through his company he has been involved in the development of Ellon for the last 40 years. He was also a director of local house building company Scotia Homes Ltd, retiring in 2011. He is involved with local originations including Rotary (past president), and was also involved in setting up and running the Ellon Business Initiative, promoting Ellon for many years. He is also an active member of Ellon Civic Pride. He has had an interest in Ellon Castle Gardens for many years before the gardens were handed over for community use.
Alan Cameron (Community Liaison)
Alan Cameron was Chairman of the Board from its inception until 2016 when he stood down and retired from the Board. He was persuaded to return in 2018 in order to engage with the local community. After more than 35 years in education – the last fifteen as Rector of Ellon Academy, Alan retired and went back to University to study Gaelic and Celtic Civilisation. After graduation, he became Councillor for Ellon on Aberdeenshire Council and latterly Leader of the Opposition. During that time he served on the Board of Aberdeen College and was Chairman of their Audit Committee and of their Company ASET. Alan has founded several local organisations such as Ellon Burns Club, Ellon Historical Society and Gordon Gaelic Coir.He is an elder in Ellon Parish Church and sings in the Church choir. He is a past President of Ellon Rotary Club and Ellon Probus Club.
Morag Cameron (Media)
Morag Cameron has joined us after returning from a career in Hong Kong and China where she was responsible for Interior Design in multimillion dollar contracts. Morag will advise us on all aspects of design and presentation.
Richard Fox (Fundraising)
Dr Richard Fox is a geologist by profession with nearly 30 years’ experience in the Oil Business and now runs his own Exploration Consulting Company. He worked for many years with BP throughout the world before returning to Ellon to take up a Leadership role with Dana Petroleum in Aberdeen. He is married with four children, a horse, two cats and a cherished Land Rover Defender pickup! His role on the Board is to seek out funding to support our ambitious plans for the garden.