Meet the team

Our friendly team are food lovers, gardening fanatics and passionate about what they do each day. Alongside these key members we welcome professionals in their fields to run inspiring courses throughout the year.

Karen with Pi

Karen Phillips

Karen studied aeronautical engineering and despite the high ratio of men to women decided not to pursue this as a career. Ten years ago she started to run gardening courses after studying horticulture and then lecturing at Kirkley Hall College. She has a natural passion for combining gardening and incredible cooking to provide a healthy balance. Your glass, plate and heart will be filled.

Lauren WAugh

Lauren Waugh

Lauren discovered Linnels Farm via a Foraging Course the day after moving house, then applied for a job and has become an invaluable addition to the team. With a background in textiles her eye for detail can be seen clearly in the choice of products for the shop. Her knowledge on veg growing in the North East stems from 10 years as an allotment holder. Lauren’s calm, unflappable demeanour comes in as handy with her two young boys and as it does for her hobby of beekeeping.

Andy Snell

Andy - 'Papaya'

Andy’s renowned lunches are an integral part of the courses. “Papaya”: Andy’s bespoke catering business, draws on his wide-ranging international experience to bring exotic flavours to our lunches whilst still valuing our local identity. Many of the herbs, vegetables and fruit he uses come from his own garden or fresh from Linnels Farm. Whilst sharing his wealth of culinary knowledge Andy’s belief that cooking should be fun is reflected in the relaxed atmosphere of the courses he teaches: Savvy Student, BBQ and Street Food to name but a few.

Judy Walker 2

Judy Walker

Judy joined the team at Linnels Farm two years ago. She has trained at Ashburton Cookery School in Devon, The Bertinet Cookery School in Bath and with Aga Rangemaster. If you’re the proud owner of an AGA (or as Simon says: ‘the most expensive radiator in the world’) then Judy is your ‘go to guru’ for AGA hints and tips. When not testing out new recipes you may find her writing award winning children’s’ books; AGA, tea, cake and a children’s book – it’s straight out of an Enid Blyton novel!

Simon Phillips

Simon Phillips

After a career in the quarrying industry Simon swapped big machinery for powertools. He’s a one-man machine: simply mention a job and it’s finished before you’ve fully decided! With a dry sense of humour he’ll try and convince you that chainsaws and jackhammers are the sound of the countryside. Simon’s the influence and hard work behind Linnels Barns but when not ‘renovating’ you’ll find him down by the river throwing sticks for his 3 ‘girls’: Kruger, Pi and Ouzel.

Where to find us

Located in rural countryside in Northumberland but only 2 miles from Hexham and 20 miles from Newcastle, it's hard to believe we're only 3 hours on a train from London, or 20 minutes from Newcastle airport.