The Stray Ferret

The Stray Ferret is an independent online news service for the Harrogate district. We are a platform for people in the District to ask questions, share their views and voice opinions on issues of public importance.

Our journalists will seek greater transparency about how public money is spent and to hold those in power to account.

The team of journalists in the Stray Ferret newsroom are trained and experienced. We have core journalistic principles of accuracy, fairness, independence and impartiality.

The Stray Ferret Ltd is a joint venture between Chris Bentley of Hornbeam Park Developments Ltd and Tamsin O’Brien, the Editor.  Mr Bentley does not have an editorial role.

The Stray Ferret Journalists

Vicky Carr

Deputy Editor

Vicky is an award-winning journalist from Harrogate. She was chief reporter of the Harrogate Advertiser and worked on the series' titles for more than five years, during which time she was named NCTJ Reporter of the Year. Since 2012, Vicky has worked as a freelance writer for regional and national titles.

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Tim Flanagan

Senior Journalist

Tim Flanagan is an experienced journalist and communications professional, who has lived in the Harrogate district for all his working life. He was employed by the Ackrill Newspapers Group from 1977 until 1988 and in that time became chief reporter for the Harrogate Advertiser.  Tim will have specific responsibility for covering Ripon where he now lives.

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Calvin Robinson

Senior Journalist

Calvin is a senior reporter at The Stray Ferret who has spent the last four years covering local government in Lincolnshire. He started his career at the Scunthorpe and Grimsby Telegraphs, before going on to become one of the first BBC Local Democracy Reporters in Lincolnshire. He was born and grew up in Halifax in West Yorkshire.

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Thomas Barrett

Senior Journalist

Thomas is a writer and journalist who spent several years working in Vietnam and then Cheshire. He was most recently the editor of three national websites specialising in housing, local government and the environment. Thomas grew up in Harrogate and is delighted to be back home, covering the district’s news.

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Connor Creaghan


Connor Creaghan graduated from the University of Lincoln with a journalism degree in 2018. He stayed in the city for a couple of years working as a journalist on The Lincolnite, a local news website. Connor lives in the centre of Harrogate and will cover stories all over the district.

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Suzannah Rogerson


Suzannah is a journalism graduate from Leeds Beckett University. The Stray Ferret is her first professional step into her journalism career. She has a particular interest in politics and current affairs. 

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Paul Baverstock

Political Columnist

Paul Baverstock is an advisor to leaders in business, politics and the third sector on their most difficult strategic engagement and communications challenges. Previously he was Director of Communication for the Conservative Party, Director of Engagement and Communication for the British Medical Association and Director of Communication for Paperless 2020. He is a graduate of Harvard University and the Yale University School of Management.

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The Stray Ferret Commercial Team

Emma Harris

Commercial Manager

Emma Harris looks after the non-editorial side of the business. Emma’s background is in marketing and administration. Emma’s strategic marketing approach is of real value to businesses wishing to promote themselves on the Stray Ferret channels. Emma grew up in Harrogate and is loving working as part of the Stray Ferret team.

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Carolyn Castelow

Office Manager

Carolyn looks after the business administration for the Stray Ferret.  Previously she worked for 8 years as Office Manager for a legal firm based in Harrogate. Before having her daughter, she worked  in marketing within the IT Industry in the South of England. She has lived in Harrogate for over 20 years with her family.

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Nina Meads

Lifestyle Editor

Nina has been a journalist for more than 15 years, working as both a senior reporter and news editor at The Harrogate Advertiser series and Scarborough Evening News. She worked as a senior reporter at The Yorkshire Post, before being appointed as education correspondent, and has also worked as a freelance writer for regional and national titles. Nina covers a wide variety of topics – from food and drink, to home and garden, beauty and wellness and family and leisure.

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Al Jones

Content Producer

Al creates video and advertorial content for the Stray Ferret’s commercial clients. Originally from North Wales, she moved to Yorkshire and trained as a broadcast journalist at Leeds University before working as a video journalist for local TV news in Leeds and in communications at Welcome to Yorkshire. 

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Natalie Hegan

Sales Executive 

Natalie is a Sales Executive in the commercial team. Natalie loves all things marketing and has a strong background with over 10 years’ experience working for marketing and creative agencies in Leeds and Harrogate. Natalie enjoys meeting new people and understanding how businesses work to improve their marketing exposure. She’s joined the Stray Ferret team to help local businesses improve theirs through our advertising channels.

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