The Stray Ferret

The Stray Ferret is a trusted news service, providing quality local journalism across Harrogate, Knaresborough, Ripon and beyond.

A reliable source of information is vital for a community; it provides a platform from which real change can be advocated for, and public opinion can be voiced.

We’re committed to holding power to account by being first for daily breaking news and using in-depth, investigative reporting to raise awareness around serious issues.

We’re also passionate about championing everything that makes the area so fantastic, celebrating the achievements of individuals and businesses, and highlighting upcoming events.

The team at The Stray Ferret is committed to the core journalistic principles of accuracy, fairness, independence and impartiality.

The Stray Ferret Team

Calvin Robinson Chief Reporter

Calvin Robinson

Chief Reporter

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. Calvin has detailed knowledge of local government and the public sector. 

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Senior Journalist Tim

Tim Flanagan

Senior Journalist, Ripon

Tim Flanagan is an experienced journalist and communications professional, who lives in Ripon. He was employed by the Ackrill Newspapers Group from 1977 until 1988 and in that time became chief reporter for the Harrogate Advertiser.  Tim has huge knowledge about the history of the district and is our person in Ripon. 

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Senior Journalist John Grainger

John Grainger

Senior Journalist

John has an extensive knowledge of the region which is highly useful when it comes to providing a platform for communities to have their voices heard. With a passion for human interest, farming and environmental stories, he’s also a keen proponent of digging deep and following every lead to provide accurate, detailed and trusted information.

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Flora Grafton

Flora Grafton

Trainee Journalist

Flora has proven herself to be an invaluable member of The Stray Ferret news team since joining in 2023, and a tenacious truth seeker when it comes to uncovering the news that matter most to the region. Whether it’s being first on the scene to bring breaking news to readers, or dedicating herself to longer-form investigations, she has a keen instinct for what makes a story important.

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Lauren Ryan

Lauren Ryan

Journalist

With both an undergraduate and master’s degree in journalism, Lauren is highly qualified in her craft, and has been a key asset to The Stray Ferret news team since joining in January 2024. While she has a special interest in entertainment and environmental stories, she always has her finger on the pulse of what’s important to the communities across North Yorkshire.

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Katie Oxtoby Journalist

Katie Oxtoby

Journalist

In Katie’s twenty years as a journalist, she’s firmly found her niche in stories with a deeply local angle – no matter the topic, community is at the heart of everything she covers.
As a long-term Harrogate resident, she’s a great advocate for the area, and loves to chat to people about their quirky hobbies, new ventures and outstanding achievements.

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Commercial Team

Emma Harris

Emma Harris

Commercial Manager

Emma joined The Stray Ferret in 2020 to offer her marketing knowledge on a temporary basis and luckily never left, becoming the invaluable head of commercial shortly thereafter. She is an expert in understanding audiences and leading digital marketing campaigns, getting organisations noticed across all channels and providing clients with a clear ROI.

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Charley Christopher

Marketing, Events & Customer Manager

With an impressive background in radio, marketing and communications, Charley understands the changing landscape of marketing and advertising, and is a creative solutions provider. Originally from Leicestershire, she’s been a Harrogate resident for the past decade, and loves collaborating with clients in the area to develop stronger relationships.

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Connor

Connor Creaghan

Journalist and Commercial Team Lead

As one of the longest-serving team members at The Stray Ferret, and with a background in digital media, Connor offers his knowledge and creativity to the commercial team. Having first started his career as a journalist, he has valuable experience of both sides of the coin and works hard to get the best outcome for all advertising clients.

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Carolyn Castelow

Carolyn Castelow

Finance Manager

In many ways, Carolyn is the engine room at The Stray Ferret, looking after all aspects of the business administration and office support. She’s brought a wealth of experience from her previous administrative and marketing roles at a legal firm and within the IT industry to make sure day-to-day office life runs smoothly.

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Kath MacColl

Kathryn MacColl

Events Executive

Kath’s previous roles in journalism, PR and events marketing – including a stint in the House of Commons - have all contributed to her being highly efficient when delivering project plans. Responsible for implementing The Stray Ferret’s busy events schedule, including the Business Awards, she also manages client relationships, and is a point of contact for anyone looking to collaborate with the business.

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Fiona Callow Lifestyle writer

Fiona Callow

Senior Lifestyle Writer

Graduating Sheffield University in 2019 with an MA in Journalism, Fiona has worked in both commercial and editorial roles since that time, with a focus on features and what’s on content. At The Stray Ferret she covers relevant lifestyle topics across the region, as well as creating content for valued clients by producing advertorials.

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The Stray Ferret Ltd is a joint venture between Chris Bentley of Hornbeam Park Developments Ltd and Tamsin O’Brien, the director.

Mr Bentley does not have an editorial role.