Brogdale Collections work as a charity to help the public access the National Fruit Collection by working to provide guided orchard tours, special education days aimed at Key stage 1 & 2 school groups, our new educational weather station and special event days.
We want to share the knowledge, value and work of the National Fruit Collection and its research by DEFRA with the public both young and old so that we will have a sustainable fruit filled future for everyone. We are now seeking to strengthen our Trustee board in particular for people with an interest in finance, commercial activity fundraising and education.
Learn more about this vacancy here.
Alan Roe is a visionary leader with a passion for preserving and celebrating horticultural diversity. With a wealth of experience in the field, he has dedicated his efforts to fostering appreciation for rare and heritage fruit varieties. Alan has worked in strategic development, marketing, commercial and business planning for Culture and Heritage, Tourism and Education for local and regional governments, public institutions, private clients and Universities in the UK and throughout Europe. Previously Commercial Director for the RHS, Alan was responsible for all the commercial activities, of the World’s leading and largest gardening charity with a large membership, major gardens in the UK and several prestigious shows, such as the Chelsea Flower Show, prize winning publishing and retail, and visitor attractions.
As the newest trustee of Brogdale Collections, Helena brings a wealth of expertise from her role as Director of Gardens and Shows at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the world leading gardening charity. Helena will play a pivotal role in advancing the organisation's mission to conserve and educate about the National Fruit Collection. RHS Wisley was the original location of the National Fruit Collection from 1922 until it was moved to Brogdale Farm in Faversham, Kent in 1952. Helena currently serves as the Director of Commercial and Innovation at the RHS, a position she has held since September 2023. In this role, she has been instrumental in driving strategic initiatives and fostering innovation. Her dedication to advancing the commercial and charitable sectors aligns seamlessly with Brogdale Collections' commitment to the preservation of fruit biodiversity. With an impressive track record, Helena has been the Director of Gardens and Shows at the RHS since August 2020. Concurrently managing the RHS Gardens, catering, and retail, she oversees a substantial income of approximately £75 million. Her strategic leadership has been pivotal in devising growth strategies for charitable income, ensuring the organisation's financial sustainability for future activities.
Neil is from Kent and has been involved in the fruit industry since his school days. He lives close to Brogdale and since the late 80s has been a qualified fruit Agronomist advising commercial growers on all aspects of growing. He graduated from Newcastle University with a BSc in Agricultural Economics and went on to study at Hadlow College where he gained an ANCH in Commercial Fruit Production. He then worked for a fruit marketing organisation and went on to manage a fruit farm before pursuing his current career.
Neil has recently been awarded the David Hilton Memorial Award by the East Kent Fruit Society for services to the industry. Having visited Brogdale as a student in its National Fruit Trials days, Neil is very keen that this unique part of both fruit and Kent history is maintained and retains its character, to be enjoyed by people of all ages and future generations. When not talking about fruit, his other interests include all sports, (particularly Gillingham FC), training gundogs, along with all other countryside and weather related topics.
Tom is a landscape architect and ecologist with over forty year’s experience as a consultant in his own practice and in the public sector. My degree was in Botany (now Plant Sciences) and I studied landscape architecture after that to discover how to design places and habitats which are great for both people and wildlife. Taken away from his original interest in breeding crop plants he was eventually drawn to the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale some thirty years ago. He prepared proposals in the 1990s for a series of gardens to tell the story of fruit history and fruit diversity with the pomologist and fruit historian Joan Morgan which were published in The Garden in 1994. He then started at Brogdale Collections with his wife to ensure continued public access to the National Fruit Collection at a time of crisis for the long-term future of the NFC and public access to it. The public involvement included the education programme to tell the stories around the NFC. These include fruit and food for the future, the importance of genetic diversity in a world of environmental change (the NFC is a genetic resource for breeding future food varieties), the origins of crop plants, the importance of fruit in our diet and health and just the joys of eating fruit. We are still working to bring this to reality with our education programmes and gardens.
Chris Lane lives near Sittingbourne in Kent where he runs Witch Hazel Nursery, growing small numbers of woody plants, mostly produced by grafting. There are five National Plant Collections, maintained on the nursery: Hamamelis, Wisteria, Flowering Cherries, Amelanchiers and Parrotia. Chris has worked in professional horticulture all his life, in nurseries as a propagator and at management level. He taught nursery sock production at Hadlow College in Kent, firstly as an instructor and then as a lecturer. Chris served at committee level for the Great Britain and Ireland region of the International Plant Propagators Society, becoming President in 1992.
David Josephs has a wealth of experience supporting a number of important charities and also a passion for food and drink. He is a big fan of Brogdale Collection’s heritage fruit which he has sourced for his London food retail business. He is also involved in a fledgling food trade apprenticeship scheme. As a highly successful business person, a supporter of educational initiatives, and with his passion for and extensive knowledge of the food and drink industry, he is an enormous asset to Brogdale Collections.
Michael is a Partner and Solicitor with Gill Turner Tucker and has specialised in all forms of civil litigation and all aspects of employment law, claims and disputes. Michael grew up in Middlesbrough. He graduated from Leeds Polytechnic with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Law and also completed his Legal Practice Course there. Michael qualified as a Solicitor in 1985 after training with a London firm. He worked in London for a while before joining Gill Turner Tucker in 1987 and becoming a Partner in the Firm in 1989. In his spare time, Michael enjoys country walks and real ale (usually combined), reading, films and football (which is not easy being a "Boro" fan).