Meet the team – Flora Grafton, trainee journalist
Last updated Feb 28, 2024

For the next few weeks, we’re introducing you to the team behind The Stray Ferret.

This week, it’s the turn of Flora Grafton, our trainee journalist.

“As cliché as it may sound, I think everything happens for a reason, and I am very happy life led me to becoming a journalist.” 

Flora might have had ambitions of being famous, a barrister, or both when she was much younger, but it certainly feels as though journalism was her true calling.  

Harrogate born and raised, she moved to Liverpool to study English Literature at university, but the call of home was too strong to keep her away from Yorkshire for long.  

  She said:

“I love North Yorkshire and the Harrogate district so much – we are surrounded by so much natural beauty.   

“A lot of my friends are still round here and all my family, so I can’t really ask for anything more than that.”  

  Flora first joined The Stray Ferret in a dual commercial and editorial role before making the move to the news team in August 2023 as a trainee reporter, which requires her to study remotely once a week at Darlington College, towards a journalism qualification. 

This might be her first job in the industry, but she’s already demonstrated a keen instinct for what makes a story important – no doubt helped by her intrinsic knowledge of the area.  

“Given I’m from Harrogate, I feel quite a personal connection with the issues that happen here – particularly those that directly affect the people around me – so I feel passionately about reporting on them.”  

Whether it’s being first on the scene to bring breaking news to readers or dedicating herself to longer-form features, Flora’s already tackled a diverse range of topics.   

Some of her notable stories include covering the recent Magistrates court bomb scare, live reporting from the fire at the former Jewson tyre yard, and her exclusive which revealed North Yorkshire Council’s lack of littering fines.   

The latter was discovered through a journalistic hunch; while she wasn’t sure it would turn up any useful information, her understanding of residents’ concerns motivated her to pursue the matter.  

Flora was first on the scene to break the news about the tyre yard

  Flora explained:

“I submitted an FOI (Freedom of Information request) on the number of littering fines issued by the council in a three-year period.  

“It turned out there has been zero, despite a mountain of concerns and complaints over littering and the state of some green and wooded areas in Harrogate.”  

Contemporaneous news coverage and investigative reporting aren’t the only strings to her bow.  

Flora loves anything to do with entertainment too – attending gigs or going to the cinema are common fixtures in her free time – and as one of the Gen Z team members, she’s certainly got her finger on the pop culture pulse.  

  Despite many milestones to celebrate in her career, her biggest personal achievement to date will be completing the Barcelona marathon alongside her father in March.  

Her weekends are currently taken up with training runs out in the North Yorkshire countryside, occasionally rewarded by a Sunday roast in a local pub.  

Flora’s childhood dream of being famous might have been replaced for a love of journalism, but what has remained a constant is her drive and ambition.  

 She added:

“I just love the variety that comes with local news, and I feel extremely lucky to be able to begin my career at The Stray Ferret.   

  “I am very proud to work for a company that not only represents the district, but the voices of so many local individuals.   

  “In my first interview, I described The Stray Ferret as a small but mighty organisation – and I think that sentiment certainly remains.”  

If you think you’ve got a story that might be of interest to Flora, you can email her at [email protected].