Council of Trustees
The Council of consists of a maximum of fifteen Trustees, including a Chairman, Deputy Chairman and Hon Treasurer. Eight Trustees are elected by virtue of being an NGS Regional Chairman, the others are selected by Council on merit with the aim of fulfilling specific skills requirements. Trustees are elected for a period of three years, renewable by Council approval for a further three years after which time Trustees must stand down for at least one year. The current Trustees are:
Penny was educated at Sherborne Girls School. She trained at Constance Spry and worked for the company. Subsequently she trained as a secretary and worked for International Distillers & Vintners before returning to floristry as a freelance florist.
In 2011 Penny celebrated 20 years of opening her garden for the NGS. She has over thirty years involvement with the NGS, having been London County Organiser since 1981 and she served for a first period as a member of Council from 1985-1995. Penny was appointed Chairman of the NGS in 2008 and has recently been elected to serve a second term of office.
Heather was elected Regional Chairman for the Seven Shires in November 2009. She has been County Organiser for Berkshire since 2007 and she continues in both roles as well as being Deputy Chairman.
Heather is a Business graduate from Oxford Brookes University , from where she developed a professional career in Human Resources . Heather worked in the UK, Europe and USA with multi-national companies , notably 3M and Imation , and became a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Whilst living in Minnesota she was also a volunteer with the American Red Cross. Heather's interest in gardens stems from her childhood in Hull, where she spent many happy hours helping her father in their garden and allotment. Since losing her mother to cancer, Heather has been an active supporter of healthcare charities and is proud to be the NGS Link Trustee with Help The Hospices.
Richard Raworth was educated at Oxford and Manchester Business School. After a period with Shell International in Argentina he joined PA Management Consultants. He was later involved in a bid for Hestair plc (a quoted UK company) and became its Finance Director. Hestair became an active, acquisitive turnround conglomerate. Following the company’s successful sale, Richard became involved in the emerging Private Equity sector, as independence Chairman of and investor in acquired companies.
He became London Treasurer for the NGS in 2005 and was made a Trustee and Hon Treasurer in 2008. He is also a Trustee of Arthritis Research UK and Chairman of its Finance Committee.
Richard and his wife Jenny have been opening their London garden for the NGS for some 30 years.
Miranda is Regional Chairman for the South West. After a career in the city, first in stock broking and then as a systems analyst in the data processing department of a financial institution, Miranda left London for Devon to bring up her family and to acquire a bigger garden. This was first opened for the NGS in 1998, initially as an individual garden and for the last 11 years with another as a group which is regularly the second highest NGS earner in Devon.
Miranda became Assistant County Organiser for Central Devon in 2000 and in 2007 County Organiser with her husband. They now have overall management of 150 gardens and the net garden income for the county has risen by 42% during their time in charge.
Emma Bridgewater is Chairman and Founder of Emma Bridgewater Ltd, a company that employs over 250 people mainly in its Pottery factory in Stoke-on-Trent. Emma was educated at Oxford High School and read English at London University. She has an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Staffordshire. She is a frequent broadcaster particularly on the importance of British manufacturing industry.
Emma is Chairman of the English Heritage Foundation and is Lay Canon Emeritus of Norwich Cathedral. She is married to Designer and writer, Matthew Rice and has four children. They live in Oxford. She loves Norfolk, Georgette Heyer, country music and river swimming.
Rosamund is Regional Chairman for Wales. Prior to marriage in 1981 Rosamund was a teacher in Performing Arts and sat on the Dance Panel of the Welsh Arts Council. For a time she was also a property buyer for the BBC.
After marriage Rosamund became fully involved in her family’s organic farming business in the vale of Glamorgan. At the same time, for ten years she taught dance at the local comprehensive school and for another seven years ran a programme of gardening courses from home. Rosamund has opened her garden for the NGS since 2004, when she was invited to become County Organiser for Glamorgan.
Irene is Regional Chairman for the East Midlands. Born in 1942, on leaving school Irene worked as a draughtswoman in Local Authorities until 1976, when, married and needing a change in direction she embarked on a 3 year full time course in Studio Ceramics at Chesterfield College of Art, graduating in 1979 with a College Diploma and membership of the Society of Designer Craftsmen. From childhood she has been passionate about plants and gardening, and when in 1981 she and husband Graham purchased Field Farm they were able to make the garden which first opened for NGS in 1996.
In 2002 Irene became Derbyshire County Organiser. She found she enjoyed working with people who love gardens and when asked to manage both Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire took the opportunity, and was County Organiser for both counties for two years until finding a volunteer to take back Nottingham and it’s team. In 2007 she became East Midlands Regional Chairman, and remains Derbyshire County Organiser, while hoping to represent the views and opinions of Garden Owners on the board of Trustees.
John is Regional Chairman for the West Midlands. He opened his garden from 2002 to 2010, having been a keen NGS visitor since the late ‘80s. He became involved as ACO circa 2005 and subsequently took on advertising and became ‘photographer-in-chief’ for Cheshire.
John had a prior executive career in the management of technical and scientific service businesses various industries. He is also trustee/treasurer of a mental health charity in Wirral and trustee of pension fund.
Martin McMillan is a Cheshire entrepreneur who lives in Sutton near Macclesfield, Cheshire. He built his own business in Publishing and Advertising sales. He sold the Company in 2005. Martin enjoys shooting and playing golf. He is a long established fund raiser, formerly NSPCC Chairman of the North West Full Stop Appeal , currently deputy Chairman of Halle Concerts Society. In 2011 he became a trustee of the Cheshire Community Foundation. Martin is married to Pat McMillan, Chairman of East Cheshire Branch NSPCC and Deputy Chairman of Lyme Green Settlement. Martin and his wife Pat have opened their garden for the NGS since 2003.
Sue spent 30 years working in magazine publishing, initially on the advertising side and later as Publisher on a range of women’s and lifestyle magazines including Sainsbury’s Magazine and The English Garden. For the past three years Sue has spent her time working for charities in the gardening, education and HIV fields and she has been involved with the NGS since 2000 when she first opened her garden in Clapham.
Having been at Ampleforth and then read Rural Management at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, Patrick joined Knight Frank in 1976. He started in their country department and ended his career running their Global residential business. He comes from a family of keen gardeners as well as being married to one so can only claim to play a supporting role in his garden. He joined the council of the NGS as one of their independent trustees in the spring of 2012.
Edwina is Regional Chairman for the East, prior to which she was County Organiser for Hertfordshire for four years and has been a member of the Hertfordshire team since 2000. An active and enthusiastic gardener, the widely admired garden at her home is entirely her creation (with some help from her husband!) and has developed over the past 48 years It has been open for the NGS for the last 10 years. Before that it was open for 25 years for various local charities. As well as making her own garden Edwina has designed a number of gardens for other people.
Before moving to Hertfordshire, Edwina was employed at the Marie Curie Foundation Head Office in their fundraising department. During the time she has lived in Hertfordshire she has worked in the voluntary sector in various capacities and has developed a good understanding of the needs of volunteers and of how to motivate them.
The Annual Review and the Trustees' Report and Financial Statements provide a review of NGS activities and performance over the previous financial year.
For more information about our activities and financial performance please see our Annual Reports page.